The unique Sam Lapides sound can be traced to the eight-track tape player of the family car. In the beginning, Sam was force-fed a steady diet of Beatles, Rolling Stones and Vanilla Fudge by his older siblings and later the guilty pleasures of Black Sabbath, Steve Miller Band, Alice Cooper and Jimi Hendrix. To make matters worse, Mrs. Lapides serenaded him with country music on the drive to school.
Somehow from all the chaotic musical influences blaring from a ‘63 Chevy Impala, Sam forged the strong lyrical style that is the Lapides sound. Lapides started out as a drummer but when he learned he had a voice and a knack for songwriting, he retired from drumming to devote his energies in becoming a guitar-strumming troubadour. Sam recruited a band to give life to his musical ambitions.
His first band, Folkminers developed a rapid local following and wasted no time in releasing, their self-titled EP in 1987 which sold out of two pressings. Dissatisfied with the limits of a small town music scene, Sam traveled first to Boston but eventually settled in Los Angeles. Still not quite sure that LA was the place for him, Sam began to play acoustic sets on the boardwalk at Venice Beach. One day while performing The Dream Syndicate’s “Burn”, the song’s author, Steve Wynn happened to walk by.
Being drawn by the familiar sound of the song, Wynn waited until Sam finished the song and with a smile inquired which Grateful Dead song he was playing. Steve Wynn remained in contact with Sam and after Sam met with drummer, Billy Frank to form what became Ghosthouse, Steve agreed to help produce some tracks. Recognizing Sam’s talent and ‘star quality’, Billy convinced ex-RainParade guitarist John Thoman to join the embryonic line-up, as well as bringing in former Green On Red keyboardist Chris Cacavas, Kurt Kummerfeldt on bass and studio guru Larry Goetz (WAR, OPAL, and Edgar Winter) to work on the band’s first CD, “Ghosthouse.”
Following the heels of its second CD, the live “Everything is Fine,” Ghosthouse signed with European label, Semaphore to release its third full-length recording, “Thing Called Life.” After “Thing Called Life” was released in Europe Ghosthouse secured a licensing deal with stateside Birdcage Records in 1996. In 1997, “Jesus Hangs on the Wall”, from the first Ghosthouse CD was licensed to New Line Video for Poison Ivy: The New Seduction and later that year Ghosthouse decided to call it quits.
Sam relocated to Boston and in 1998 he released his first solo CD titled, Wake Up from the Wasteland, on Bluerose Records. This critically acclaimed recording was picked as one of the top twenty demos of 1998 by Los Angeles industry magazine, Music Connection. Sam once again returned to Los Angeles in 1999 and formed a new band to perform the songs from the CD. Sam toured Europe in 2001 and 2002 and released another solo CD, We’ve Walked These Streets, on Inbetweens Records in Holland.
Later in 2002 Inbetweens re-released the first Ghosthouse CD that had been out of print for almost 10 years. He ended 2003 with licensing “Ghosthouse” also from the first Ghosthouse CD to the NBC hit Television series, Ed. This chain of events made Sam realize that he missed the magic of the sound of his old band and decided to contact his former band mates. He found that a few of them were still available and others dropped out of existence or moved away.
When he called the former Ghosthouse bass player, Kurt Kummerfeldt, he was happy to help out. Chris Buessem, who had played banjo, mandolin and guitar on some of the Ghosthouse releases, was drafted to play guitar. Robin Berlijn, who Sam had played with in 2001, on a Dutch solo tour, was also happy to help out on guitar. Est Nyboer filled in on drums and Robert Lloyd played some piano, organ and accordion. Larry Goetz engineered and co-produced the CD and played some guitar, mandolin and a variety of tasty other parts and helped update the Ghosthouse sound on their latest offering, Devotion, which is available on Bluerose Records and CD Baby. In October 2004, Ghosthouse completed an acoustic tour of Europe. Sam returned to Europe in 2006 and again in 2007 where he was hired to play on the streets of Viborg Denmark at their first city-wide Marathon. In 2010, "Time to Get Out", a punk rock driven song was used on TNT's Dark Blue. Sam continues to perform and compose and resides in Los Angeles with his wife Maureen and their two cats.