The Mystics
band photo
Larry Kelley: Lead guitar, vocals (‘60-‘62)
Tom Mylenbusch: Drums
Phil Seiler: Rhythm guitar, vocals
Art Stevens: Bass (‘62-‘63)
Fritz Westfall: Sax
Date formed: 1960
Date disbanded: 1963?
The Mystics from Boone started with Phil, Tom and Fritz getting together in a formative state. The picture of the three of them at the right was taken in 1960 in the living room at Fritz’s house. Larry was a classmate of Tom’s in 9th grade. One day during Geometry class Tom mentioned to Larry that he and the others were forming a band and wondered if he might be interested. Larry was indeed interested and joined the group. At this point in time the Mystics were surely one of the very first bands in Boone County. The name for the group came from either a song that was popular at the time or a national group that used the name.
   At the time Larry was playing an Airline solid body guitar that was finished in brown and white with one pickup through a Sears amp. He later upgraded to a Gibson Les Paul. Phil was using something similar to Larry–an Airline thin body acoustic/electric guitar and amp–and later upgraded his amp to a Gibson tube amp. He also moved up to a Gibson SG with two pickups and a cherry finish. Tom started with the most basic set available with a kick, snare, and hi–hat. He later got a Slingerland kick with rack tom and a snare. Firtz’s sax was whatever he was using for school band at the time.
group photo
The Mystics usually tried to get together twice a week at Fritz’s house which was in south Boone. It was bigger than the other members houses which worked well for practices. They used the basement so they could leave what little equipment they had set up and not be in anyone’s way. They did not even use a microphone for the vocals since they weren’t practicing at very loud levels. Again, from the picture above it is evident that they had a mic–possibly a Shure Unidyne 55–available for use.
   As far as material goes, the band played a mix of instrumentals and songs that were popular for the times. Tunes by Ace Cannon, Elvis Presley, the Everly Bros. and Jimmy Rodgers amongst others were in the groups repertoire.
Since there were not a lot of places for a teen band to play the Mystics played mostly for school things and private parties. The most the band made playing for a dance was $40. Larry was the first to leave the band. Another person, Glen Forester, was brought in to sing and stayed with the group until their demise. Art Stevens joined right around the time Larry left the group. When Fritz and Phil graduated from high school Fritz went into the Air Force which brought an end to this band. Interesting to note in the top photo, the group wore matching clothes with name tags along with a capital letter ‘M’ standing for the group’s name
   Larry went on to play in several local bands. He lives in Boone and used to do satellite TV installs and sales. In 2016, Larry was in a group named Flashback. Art Stevens also played in several other groups. He passed away some time in the late ’80s. Tom currently lives in Ames and Phil is in Waukee, IA. Fritz retired from the Air Force, taught at Troy State University for a time and is now retired and currently living in Florida.
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