I want to preface this memorial writing for Rees by saying that I know it’s like “preaching to the choir” when I talk about how talented Rees was in so many different ways. Rees was just a very intelligent human majoring in Music. What follows is what this “old geezer’s” worn out brain remembers about his encounters with a wonderful person……… Rees Lucas.
I first remember seeing Rees Lucas in late 1967, so that would have made him 8 years old. I had played in a “Rock-n-Roll” band in high school and a couple of the guys I played with had moved from their parents house after graduation and rented the little “garage/apartment” from Rees Mom and Dad. Of course all the musicians from our class were running in and out of that little apartment or coming over to have a jam session. This was just right for Rees having these “Hippies” and musicians singing and playing all that 60’s music right in his own backyard. I don’t think this went over very well with Rees Dad, but eventually that pipe dream of living out on our own came to an end as we all went off to school or started our work careers.
When I went to work for the City of Carlsbad Water Department in the fall of 1990 it had been 23 years since first seeing Rees Lucas as an 8 year old, he would once again come into my life. How Ironic is it that now another 23 years later I’m writing a memorial to my Friend Rees Lucas. Rees was the “Meter Service Representative” (266) for the water department, it was the best job in the whole department, and everyone wanted that job. But Rees wasn’t satisfied with having that job he wanted a supervisors job and worked hard at attaining his state of New Mexico Water Certification Levels, and he was the man for the Water Superintendents job, but he didn’t get that job and unfortunately (for the City) Rees left the City and found a life changing job for Bill Fangio at CELTECH.
During the few years at the Water Department with Rees we talked about playing and music, but I don’t believe it ever once came up about the “Hippies” and the garage/apartment back in the 60’s. I had just pretty much laid down playing guitar and was busy raising a family and trying to keep my head above water after leaving the Potash Mines and going to work for the City of Carlsbad. I do remember that Rees was always encouraging me to start playing again, and after listening to him play anyone would be encouraged to start playing again. Rees was a fabulous musician of the highest class.
In 1999 things had kind of come full circle with my guitar playing and the now old “Hippies” were back together playing again after a 30 year break. If a musical event was happening in or around Carlsbad Rees knew about it, played in it or did the sound for it. So Rees approached me about doing the sound for the Gigs we were doing at the Riverside Country Club on Memorial Day weekends for several years. These weekends soon turned into get-to-gathers for our Carlsbad Senior High School class reunions 1967, 68, & 69 and Rees did a wonderful job of setting us up and making us sound as good as possible.
Sometime during Rees setting us up that first year the conversation turned to who all the guys were in the Band (The Stuck in The 60’s), and I told him about David Huggins, Myself and Larry Gregory, we played in a band in High School called the “Hustlers”. I asked Rees if he remembered a bunch of wild guys renting his mom and dad’s apartment back in the late 60’s. Rees was elated asking “was that you guys”? He said “that was the first time I had ever seen a psychedelic black light poster”. We had a huge poster hanging on the wall in that apartment of Hendrix or some other musician. Over the years we all (David Huggins, Larry and Margie Gregory, Jimmy Wiseman, Don Spruill, Mark Hutchins, Ronnie Muncrief, John Roberts) became good friends with Rees and appreciated so much his abilities to not only set up sound for our performances, but also to record individual digital tracks for each of us so I could later mix the songs. Rees was a master at getting things just right, and that is a challenge when working with 60 year old rock-n-rollers.
Last October (2012) showed just how caring and devoted to fellow musicians Rees really was. At the last moment Larry Gregory and I called Rees and wanted to meet with him. We met at Denny’s that evening and asked Rees on very short notice if he would once again do our sound the coming weekend. Without hesitation Rees said “yes” he would have it no other way. After we wore the Country Club out at 12 midnight last year Larry Gregory and I helped Rees and David break down all the equipment and put it in the trailer stopping by Rees and Jacque’s house to leave some of the stuff. Rees then demanded that I let him and David go to my house and unload my amps and equipment for me at 2 am. Rees was far beyond being a “Roadie” but he wasn’t too good to help and do what ever it took to help others out.
There are so many things I want to say in remembrance of Rees Lucas, but there is probably only room for a couple of more memories.
Back in January of 2011 my supervisor, Patsy Jackson Christopher, Director of the Carlsbad Museum and Art Center approached me about needing a Drummer and Bass player to play with some professional players she was bringing to Carlsbad to put on a show. I knew exactly who to call and when I called Rees to ask him if he would be willing to play drums for the original “Fireballs” and also for Tommie Allsup. His response was “are you serious?” And so on the first weekend in 2011 Rees and Levi played with George Tomsco and Stan Lark (the 2 original living members) of the “Fireballs”, and Tommy Allsup, Buddy Holly’s rhythm guitarist (he is the one who lost the coin flip with Ritchie Valens and didn’t get on the airplane that night in Clear Lake, Iowa). I know Rees loved playing drums for these musical icons, and he got paid to play with them as well, oh….yeah.
When Rees and I had talked over the past years he would always want me to come over and “lay down some tracks” from some of the old 60’s stuff. Rees really loved the Surf music and sound of the 60’s instrumental bands and I would say yeah we really need to do that. Not long ago as I talked to Rees on the phone it was the same thing, “LanMan we need to lay down some tracks of that old stuff”. I know that Rees thought I was going to die on him before we could get it done, but how ironic and sad it is. It wasn’t Me that you needed to worry about Rees, it was You and none of us can believe it. I have been in contact with all my band members and we are all in shock about your leaving us far, far too early in your talented life.
Just a couple of months ago we contacted Rees once more about this coming October (2013) and yes once more he was just as willing as ever to do our sound again for the Class of 68 Reunion at the Pecos River Convention Center, Carousel House. But alas, our great friend and Magical Musician won’t be there with us in person, however I know he will be watching in and doing his own “CHECK” “CHECK” “CHECK” just like he has always done.
I have asked myself so many times since Rees passed away, WHY Rees? and I still don’t have any kind of answer that satisfies me, only God our Father above knows WHY Rees Lucas left us far to early. So to you Jacque, Jameson, Paulette and Michelle, and Berry, I want to say one more time on behalf of myself and all the members of the “Stuck in The 60’s Band” how sorry we are for the loss of Rees. His talent was only preceded by his goodness and kindness to others. May God bless you all.
So Long for now Rees’er, Lanny W Barnett aka LanMan
My Uncle Rees was a great man who always gave our family a reason to laugh and enjoy something throughout stress filled times.He made an impact in all of our lives somehow. My teachers always knew who my uncle was because they had either seen him play in his band or he had coached their sons on the football field. One thing besides music that he loved, was of course…football. Every Thanksgiving the whole family would go over to our Mimi’s house and in between eating and watching the cowboys disappoint us, we would play football on the golf course. All the kids would be outside, including a few adults and it always got a little competitive. We had been outside for a couple of plays and were having a great time playing TOUCH football. Rees and I weren’t on the same team and like I said, it got competitive and I will never forget being a little girl running into the house crying because both of my uncles had TACKLED me and busted my lip.
I’m so thankful my Dad had Rees as his brother growing up. He truly was one of a kind and I’m glad to have had him in my life and as a part of my family. He will be greatly missed but I know he’s looking down with Grandad and is so proud at how strong and loving everyone in our family has been. -Rebeka Lucas
I worked with Rees at the City of Carlsbad Water Department. Rees was always jovial…..and I can never forget that laugh and big smile that he sported on a daily basis.
We chatted about his music and gigs at the time, as well as always joking around with each other. He even told me at work one day that he wrote a song on my behalf called, “The Neanderthal Grunt”…..or something like that…. and actually sang a few bars for my benefit….it was both comical and genius.
I would like to convey my condolences to his Wife and Children, as well as to the rest of his family. Rees was a true one of a kind fella with a big heart that went along with his big smile. He was a good friend and will be truly missed by everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him.
May God continue to bless you and your family with his peacefullness in the days and weeks ahead.
Rees was our neighbor, a friend, and my co-worker. He was one of the most outgoing and friendly people I ever knew. Rees was a compassionate man with wit and charm. My son got his first guitar from Rees, who nearly just gave it to me for the benefit of the advancement of music. He was solely responsible for my wife and I getting into the radio business. Rees and a partner had a radio show which promoted his downtown Entersound business. One night, he decided to hand over the reigns of the airwaves to my wife, Karen. They discovered her at his music store when she went to pick up a prize she won from the radio show. One thing lead to another, and she was soon helping out by filling in for them on the air, when needed. A few weeks later, I took over the time slot that ran immediately after her show, when another DJ decided to move on while I was visiting Karen at the radio station. Saturday Classic Rock was born! Rees, we will miss you and remember you forever. It’s very difficult to put into words how we’re feeling. Our deepest condolences go out to his entire loving family. Jacque, we are here for you. Please know that you are not alone. Seek us out if you wish. We will be here. RIP Rees, we will miss you dearly.
-Larry & Karen Berg (aka Klassy Karen & Crazy Larry)
I still remember the first day I ever saw Coach Rees. He and Mike picked me and taught me everything I know about football, even though nobody else gave me a chance but them my first year when I knew nothing about football. Every year after, they managed to pick me no matter what they had to do to get me. I still remember him telling everybody that he still remembered when I was a little water buffalo. I thank this man for what he taught me about football and the heart I put in it, because he taught me that it wasn’t about winning or losing…it was about how much you loved the game. I am the football player I am today because of him.
Rees and I went to high school and participated in track together. I will never forget we were at a track meet and he was participating in the pole vault he was having a very good day clearing the bar at every level. He was trying to clear a height he had never reached when the pole he was using broke in two about the time he was about he was about to go over the bar. Rees fell missing hitting the ground. Later, I told him I did not know how he could vault again after that fall but a few days after he was jumping again with no fear.
We were in collage in Las Cruces at the same time and Rees invited me to hear a band he was playing with. On the way back to his apartment I told him he was pretty good and maybe he should major in music which he obviously has a passion for. Somehow I became the roadie for that band because I had a truck. Rees told me that he had to save his hands for playing and since I had no talent I could unload the equipment while he and the other band members prepared to play. Rees told me that when he became a famous rock star I could be his head roadie.
I had many good times with Rees and have many wonderful memories like this. He was always full of life, positive and a good friend. Rees made a lasting impact on me even though I have not seen him in many years.
Rees was my first friend, from the first day of first grade. Grade school games and pranks, Boy Scouts, high school track and cross country were all the medium, but the purity of the spirit of that first invitation from first grade “hey, do you wanna come over to my house? “ ——somehow remains the common thread. That is the pure gold of heaven, which treasure I will always share with Rees. Somehow that bond was enough, even as we drifted apart and then would come back together through the years, touching base every year at Christmas in the college years, and then less frequently, my occasional pilgrimage back home to Carlsbad.
I always assumed there would be plenty of time….but I can see now that is not the case. Rees did not waste a moment. The good news is that we will have eternity, the painful part is the rest of this world’s way knowing it will be without him. In my memory, he was always “seizing the day” one way or another, including and encouraging others along the way.
Since I really didn’t run into Rees much in our adult lives, most of my memories of him revolve around high school. When I was a senior and he was a junior we were on the Pow Wow staff together. I was the “Exchange Editor”, a term that I still cannot accurately define, and he was the Production Manager. While I toiled away, trying to figure out what exactly I was supposed to be writing about, Rees would sit across the room and shoot rubber bands at me. Every day. For an entire school year. He did it with the sweetest smile on his face, and he would tell me, “I’m just trying to encourage your productivity Debby Con-dor.” I now work with Rees’s cousin Mike, who also shoots rubber bands at me from across the room. I guess it’s a family trait. LOL! I also remember that, in his capacity as Production Manager, Rees would always tell me not to wear “those redneck overalls” that I loved so much when it was time to sell newspapers. Instead, I was to wear a skirt, and he would send me down to the Auto Body shop to sell papers. But you couldn’t stay mad at him — he was always smiling and always positive and always a good friend. I will miss him.
Debby (Gonder) Terrazas
I’m so sorry he is gone. He was a fun loving man and boy. You could always get a hug from him.