13th Floor Elevators

13th Floor Elevators


Throughout the spring of 1966, the group toured extensively in Texas, playing clubs in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. They also played on live teen dance shows on television, such as "Sumpin Else", in Dallas, and "The Larry Kane Show" in Houston. In late summer 1966 the Elevators toured the west coast, made two nationally televised appearances, and played several dates at the San Francisco ballrooms The Fillmore and The Avalon.

The International Artists record label in Houston, also home to contemporary Texas underground groups such as Red Krayola and Bubble Puppy, signed the Elevators to a record contract and released the album "The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators" in the latter part of 1966, which became instantly popular among the burgeoning counterculture. ] before she headed to San Francisco and joined Big Brother and the Holding Company. Her style of singing was much influenced by Roky Erkison's trademark screaming and yelping, as in "You're Gonna Miss Me".

Drug and legal problems resulted in turmoil for the band. In 1969, facing a marijuana possession charge, Erickson chose to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital rather than serve a prison term, signaling the end of the band's career. , and the rest of the band dissolved to join many different bands throughout the 1970s.

Benny Thurman joined a string of other bands, most notably Mother Earth, with Powell St. John.

Stacy Sutherland formed his own band, Ice, which performed only in Houston and never released any material. In 1969, after a battle with heroin addiction, he was imprisoned in Texas on drug charges, the culmination of several years of drug related trouble with the law. After his release Sutherland began to drink heavily. He continued to sporadically play music throughout the 1970s, occasionally with former members of the Elevators. Tragically, Stacy was accidentally shot and killed by his wife Bunny on August 26, 1978 during a domestic dispute, and is buried in Center Point, Texas [ [http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A225343 The Austin Chronicle: Music: High Baptismal Flow: Part 2: The 13th Floor Elevators' ground floors: Where are they now? ] ] .

Danny Galindo played bass with Jimmie Vaughan's (Stevie Ray's older brother) band Storm in Austin, Texas during the 1970s. He died in 2001 from complications of hepatitis C.

Danny Thomas left the 13th Floor Elevators in 1968 and was hired to perform with Delta blues guitarist Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins. After leaving Texas and returning to North Carolina he played from 1970-1997 with: Lou Curry Band, Dogmeat, and Bessie Mae's Dream. During this time, he owned his own delivery company called Gophers Inc. Prior to that he worked in accounting at Carolinas Medical Center (formerly Charlotte Memorial Hospital). He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife, Juanette, and they have two grown daughters, Christina Mason and Tiffany Johnson, and a son, Jason Brock.Fact|date=October 2007

Erickson was released from hospital in 1975 and embarked upon a solo career, working with Stu Cook from Creedence Clearwater Revival. However, his solo career was blighted by a continual struggle with mental illness and was never successful, resulting in Erickson withdrawing from public life for many years. However, in the 2000s he has re-emerged with one of his late 70s/early 80s backing bands, The Explosives, playing regular gigs including the Austin City Limits festival in September 2005, as well as Coachella in California, Hultsfred Festival in Sweden and Montreal World Film festival in Canada.

Tommy Hall currently lives in a run-down San Francisco residence hotel. His crowded room is decorated with cobwebs and Sixties posters and is stacked to the ceiling with cassettes and videotapes, without a CD in sight. His ex-wife Clementine keeps in contact and visits him regularly.cite news |first= Joe |last= Trybyszewski |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= Where the Pyramid Meets the High
url= http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid:224147|work= The Austin Chronicle|publisher= |date= 2004-08-13|accessdate=2007-07-30
] In the 1980s he was rumored to be the true identity of Texas outsider musician Jandek, but this has since been disproven.

Various Elevators tribute bands exist, such as Tantric Sons, featuring John Walton and Ronnie Leatherman, The Tommy Hall Schedule, and Acid Tomb. Erickson's youngest brother Sumner Erickson covers many Elevators songs with his band The Texcentrics.


Today, the 13th Floor Elevators continues to influence new generations of musicians. In 1990, 21 contemporary bands — including R.E.M., ZZ Top, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Primal Scream — recorded covers of Elevators songs on "Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson", one of the first tribute albums, in what would become a fad. In 2005, a panel at the SXSW music festival discussed the music of the Elevators and Powell St. John, one of the Elevators' songwriters.

The song "You're Gonna Miss Me" was covered by influential Australian group Radio Birdman on their 1977 album Radios Appear.

Seminal 1980s drone/space-rock band Spacemen 3 were hugely influenced by the 13th Floor Elevators, covering "Roller Coaster" for debut album "Sound of Confusion" and "May the Circle Be Unbroken" for third album "Playing With Fire".

Le Bonne Route, a 1996 album by Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman features a song titled 'Lunatics at the Edge of the World', which Tek described as "An ode to Syd Barrett and Roky Erickson."

In the 2000 movie "High Fidelity", "You're Gonna Miss Me" was used in the opening scene and is the first song on the movie soundtrack.

In 2006, Dell Computers used "You're Gonna Miss Me" in one of their ads for their XPS laptop.

On April 24, 2007 during a radio promotion/interview before a concert, Jesse Lacey of Brand new credited the inspiration and a few lyrics for the song Degausser to Roky Erickson.

The band have also been an influence on the "stoner rock" scene the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Nebula and Na mes and Fa ces have regarded them as a big influence.



*"The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators" (1966)
*"Easter Everywhere" (1967)
*"Live" (1968)
*"Bull of the Woods" (1968)

Box Sets

*"The Psychedelic World of the 13th Floor Elevators" (2002)
*"The Complete Elevators IA Singles Collection"


*"The Very Best of the 13th Floor Elevators Going Up" (2004)
*"" (1997, 1998)

Charting singles and albums

*"You're Gonna Miss Me" (August 1966) - #55 Billboard, #50 Cash Box
*"Reverberation (Doubt)" (November 1966) - #129 Billboard's Bubbling Under
*"Easter Everywhere" (December 1967) - #122 Billboard's Bubbling Under, Cash Box, Record World

See also

*Music of Austin


4. "Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators" by Paul Drummond, foreword by Julian Cope (Process Media, December 2007)

External links

* [http://www.texaspsychranch.com Texas Psychedelic Ranch: 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson, Golden Dawn, Bubble Puppy, more...]
* [http://www.scarletdukes.com/st/tm_ausquest.html A QUEST FOR PURE SANITY - THE PSYCHEDELIC POETRY OF TOMMY HALL]
* [http://web.wt.net/~duane/13thfloo.html 13th Floor Elevators History Interview]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/roeshad/sets/72157607528676599/ 1968 Mother magazine article]
*MusicBrainz artist|id=e90d9bba-c386-478e-ae84-c54fb07a34df|name=13th Floor Elevators
* [http://www.rokyerickson.net Roky Erickson's official site]
* [http://www.geocities.com/ucdnlo/ Life In The Elevators (Recollections of Danny Thomas of The 13th Floor Elevators)]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6812708 Profile for Stacy Sutherland] at Find A Grave
* [http://www.myspace.com/13thfloorelevators 13th Floor Elevators MySpace page]

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