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Dallas-born singer/guitarist/songwriter Gary Myrick blended rootsy rock & roll with the energy and sensibility of new wave on several '80s albums and later made a surprising comeback in the late '90s. Myrick was playing around the Dallas/Fort Worth area with his own bands straight out of high school; in his early twenties, he moved to Austin to join a band called Kracker Jack, which featured two ex-members of Johnny Winter's band and whose guitarist (one Stevie Ray Vaughan) had recently quit. Myrick moved to California after a couple of years, and formed his own outfit called the Figures. They landed a deal with Epic and issued their debut album, Gary Myrick & the Figures, in 1980; it produced a minor cult hit in the single "She Talks in Stereo." The follow-up, Living in a Movie, was released in 1981, but after the supporting North American tour, Myrick decided to disband the Figures in pursuit of a different approach.
The solo EP Language appeared in 1983, after which Myrick hooked up with John Waite and contributed to his 1984 pop breakthrough No Brakes. After one more album, 1985's Stand for Love, Myrick chose to concentrate on a career as a session musician for a time. In 1991, Myrick joined former Clash bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Nigel Dixon (of the British rockabilly revival group Whirlwind) in a new band called Havana 3AM. Mixing Texas roots rock with punk flavor, the group recorded a self-titled debut and toured Europe, North America, and Japan. However, Simonon left to pursue an art career not long after, and sadly, Dixon passed away due to cancer. Myrick eventually regrouped the band with bassist Tom Felicetta and drummer Jamie Chez; this lineup issued the generally well-received Texas Glitter and Tombstone Tales in 1996. Myrick followed it five years later with the reflective, Tchad Blake-produced Waltz of the Scarecrow King.