Lewis

Last month, we streamed L’Amour, the debut album from an artist called Lewis. The Lewis backstory was a great, Sixto Rodriguez-esque thing: A lost album of utterly unknown origin turns up in an Edmonton flea market and sparks feverish interest, eventually getting a re-release via Lost In The Attic. Then, a second album appears on eBay — still with no clear idea of who Lewis is, or was, or where he might be. Today, though, the mystery has been solved. Lewis is Randall Wulff, and according to Light In The Attic’s Matt Sullivan, “Randall Wulff is alive. Living and breathing and content, simply playing his music in the comfort of his own home, with a girlfriend and some kittens by his side.” This discovery came as the result of what Sullivan calls a two-and-a-half-year search. Said Sullivan:

“Randy had no idea about the recent interest in his old records and didn’t seem to care in the slightest. We had a check for him but he wasn’t interested. We brought him CDs and LPs of L’Amour. He took a look, impressed (’nice’), and smiled, recalling a number of positive stories from back in the day. Then handed back the CD, saying it was for us and kindly declined keeping it. Randy simply wanted to look forward with both his life and music and had no interest in any celebrity or financial gain having to do with the albums. He told us over and over again, ’That was a long time ago’ and that we should ’have a ball’ with the reissues. When we mentioned that we’d been looking for him for years, he was surprised, responding that he’s been right there all along and shops for groceries at his neighborhood store.”

Here’s Sullivan’s statement in full:

Randall Wulff is alive. Living and breathing and content, simply playing his music in the comfort of his own home, with a girlfriend and some kittens by his side.

For two and a half years, we searched and searched, and all signs led to Lewis as being a man no longer with us. Then last week, out of the blue, an old friend from Randall’s past got in touch, mentioning that he saw Randy in Canada last year. Hours later, Jack Fleischer and I booked two plane tickets and headed to Canada on the hunt.

Feeling deflated after 48 hours of tirelessly searching, we suddenly spotted him in plain sight. We found him looking calm, cool and collected, sitting outside a little neighborhood coffee shop drinking a large hot coffee. He looked great just sitting there basking in the summer sun with his classic blond hair, white shorts, white, billowy dress shirt (confidently unbuttoned to the navel), shiny white tennis shoes, and a wooden cane, which he cited was from a recent accident, but he seemed to walk fine. He had that undeniable charm of some golden-era Hollywood actor.

Randy had no idea about the recent interest in his old records and didn’t seem to care in the slightest. We had a check for him but he wasn’t interested. We brought him CDs and LPs of L’Amour. He took a look, impressed (“nice”), and smiled, recalling a number of positive stories from back in the day. Then handed back the CD, saying it was for us and kindly declined keeping it. Randy simply wanted to look forward with both his life and music and had no interest in any celebrity or financial gain having to do with the albums. He told us over and over again, “That was a long time ago” and that we should “have a ball” with the reissues. When we mentioned that we’d been looking for him for years, he was surprised, responding that he’s been right there all along and shops for groceries at his neighborhood store.

After a half hour chatting about his musical past, he signed a couple copies of L’Amour (as “Lewis”) and said, “I wish you guys all the best. I’m not looking back. I’m doing stuff now that’s taken me forty, fifty years to write. I’m not looking into coin. I’m not looking into anything. I’m just strumming my guitar. I just wish you guys all the best in the world.”

In respect to Randall, we’ve decided that once our CD/LP stock runs out, we won’t be repressingL’Amour or Romantic Times–until he tells us differently. It doesn’t feel right collecting money from his art and him not sharing in it regardless of how incredibly positive he was about the entire thing. The royalties will continue to be set aside into an escrow in case he ever wants them.

In 2014, with the instant gratification of information at our fingertips and every mystery solved within seconds, this is a rare and beautiful thing. The man seems to be at peace, so respecting his privacy is most important. And in closing, we are aware of the small percentage of people that believe this whole thing to be a hoax. Looking at the twelve-year history of our label, anyone would see that we would never do such a thing to betray people’s trust. We, like many of you, find so many parts of this story to be beyond belief, but after this meeting with Randall, we can say that sometimes truth truly is stranger than fiction.

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Comments (7)
  1. This leaves us all with only one option: we must find his hometown and hold Lewisstock.

  2. i wonder if he confirmed whether or not he made more albums than the two we currently have

    • Auto  |   Posted on Aug 9th -1

      From what I’ve read there are only 2 copyright entries for Randall Wulf, so that’s it.

  3. Auto  |   Posted on Aug 9th 0

    I was terrified that he would lose his mystery after being found, but this backstory is about as good as we could have hoped for.

  4. Auto  |   Posted on Aug 9th 0

    Now I’m a total Lewis believer, but the blur in that photo looks totally weird. The top half is blurred, but the floor is in focus?

  5. Why not ask Lewis (Randy) if he is open to the idea of donating the royalties to a charitable organization? If so, Light In The Attic could continue to press the album and some worthy organization could benefit from the funds. Sounds like a win-win to me.

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