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Vintage Pics Of Destiny's Child, ZZ Top, Blue October & More

Hayes Carll before he was old enough to shave... not that he ever has.
Hayes Carll before he was old enough to shave... not that he ever has.
Photo by Steve Harris/Compadre Records

The other day, one of the Rocks Off Crew was rummaging around in the Houston Press office and came across a bunch of publicity stills for various musicians.

Allow us to explain what those are: They're photos, usually 8X10, that artists' management and publicity teams would send in the mail in case the paper needed it for an article, calendar listings, etc. In order to do that, these photos had to be scanned into a computer by the paper's art or production department, then they were tossed aside and usually forgotten about.

Any paper of any size probably has a file cabinet or two of these things sitting around, we're sure. (Even we're not sure how they went from photo stock to newsprint in the days before scanning.) A sure sign the publicity shot's day has come and gone is that they are now considered collectibles - for a while, Sig's Lagoon had a huge stack by the counter selling for about 5 bucks a pop.

Every once in a while, Rocks Off still gets one in the mail, but record labels' slashed publicity budgets and the eternal march of technology have sent these photos the way of the typewriter.

Even so, we thought you might like to see what a few of Houston's more famous names looked like in those strange days before the Internet completely took over the music business - most of these did come with email addresses and Web sites listed under the contact information, but for a few it was just a lonely 10-digit phone number.

And maybe a fax.

Townes Van Zandt looking remarkably dapper (and sober).
Townes Van Zandt looking remarkably dapper (and sober).
Keith Case & Associates

 

The Geto Boys in January 1996, at perhaps one of their final photo shoots together.
The Geto Boys in January 1996, at perhaps one of their final photo shoots together.
Photo by Mario Castellanos/Rap-A-Lot Records

 

Scarface patiently waits for an ABC executive to dream up Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Scarface patiently waits for an ABC executive to dream up Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Photo by Vincent Soyez/Def Jam South

 

ZZ Top in their short-lived "Amish" period.
ZZ Top in their short-lived "Amish" period.
Lone Wolf Production Company/RCA Records

 

King's X chill in the studio - note primitive cell phone clipped to Dug Pinnick's waist.
King's X chill in the studio - note primitive cell phone clipped to Dug Pinnick's waist.
Metal Blade Records
Lucinda Williams in what must have been a shot for 1992's Sweet Old World.
Lucinda Williams in what must have been a shot for 1992's Sweet Old World.
FCC Management/Monterey Peninsula Artists

 

Something tells us today's Beyonce would say no, no, no to that cowboy hat.
Something tells us today's Beyonce would say no, no, no to that cowboy hat.
Photo by Eddie Wolfe/Columbia Records

 

Houston ska supermen The Suspects model the "work gang" stagewear popular in the early '00s.
Houston ska supermen The Suspects model the "work gang" stagewear popular in the early '00s.

 

Here the photographer tries to stay on Blue October singer Justin Furstenfeld's "good side." Violinist Ryan Delahoussaye (far left) wasn't so lucky.
Here the photographer tries to stay on Blue October singer Justin Furstenfeld's "good side." Violinist Ryan Delahoussaye (far left) wasn't so lucky.
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