Lothar and the Hand People

Lothar and the Hand People were an American psych-rock band that released the albums Presenting… and Space Hymn on Capitol in 1968/69. They were one of the earliest rock acts to incorporate theremin and Moog synthesizer.

Members: John Emerlin [aka Lothar] (theremin, vocals), Paul Conly (keyboards), Rusty Ford (bass), Tom Flye (percussion), Kim King (guitar), Richard Willis


Lothar and the Hand People formed in Denver, Colorado, in 1965 when singer John Emerlin and keyboardist Paul Conly teamed with guitarist Kim King, bassist Rusty Ford, and drummer Tom Flye. They initially played covers of Wilson Pickett (“In the Midnight Hour”) and Them (“Gloria”).

In mid-1966, they moved to New York City, where they jammed with the Chamber Brothers and a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix. Inspired by the city’s avant-garde sounds, Emerlin brought his theremin into the mix. The name Lothar applied to the theremin and Emerlin himself; the “Hand People” referred to the hands of the instrumentalists.


  • Presenting…Lothar and the Hand People (1968)
  • Space Hymn (1969)


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