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

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

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

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