The 13th Floor Elevators

The 13th Floor Elevators were an American rock band from Austin, Texas formed by guitarist and vocalist Roky Erickson, electric jug player Tommy Hall, and guitarist Stacy Sutherland, which existed from 1965 to 1969. During their career, the band released four LPs and seven 45s for the International Artists record label. Rare performance video of 13 Floor Elevators....

You know... strange as it may seem... since I began Retro: Kimmer's blog in 2008... So many of the musicians and music fans I have met have given me such a musical education. 13th Floor Elevators are band I never heard of... Deniz Tek is a huge Roky Erickson fan and Deniz recorded with Roky years ago in Texas. Deniz told me alot about this band. My Facebook friends have filled in a lot of history as well. Gotta love the internet!

Deniz Tek and Radio Birdman

From Deniz: I've been inspired by the voice and songs of Roky Erickson aka Roger Kynard Erickson, from my teen years. His band the 13th Floor Elevators recorded at Sugar Hill in the 60s on the International Artists label. Some say they spearheaded psychedelic rock.

Deniz's band Radio Birdman did a great cover of "You're Going to Miss Me"... Occasionally I will post one version or another as lots of garage bands covered Miss Me too. It is just a classic rock song... Sad that I missed out on these great bands years ago but how LUCKY I am to meet the bands now and hear the back stories of these great songs...

The 13th Floor Elevators found some commercial and artistic success in 1966-67, before dissolving amid legal troubles and drug use in late 1968 (familiar story...). As one of the first psychedelic bands, their contemporary influence has been acknowledged by 1960s musicians such as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Peter Albin of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Chris Gerniottis of Zakary Thaks. Their debut 45 "You're Gonna Miss Me", a national Billboard #55 hit in 1966, was featured on the 1972 compilation Nuggets: Original Artifacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968, which is considered vital in the history of garage rock and the development of punk rock.

Punk band Television played their song "Fire Engine" live in the mid-1970s. In the 1980s-90s, the 13th Floor Elevators influenced important bands such as Primal Scream and Spacemen 3, both of whom covered their songs, and 14 Iced Bears who use an electric jug on their single "Beautiful Child".

In 2009 the International Artists released a ten CD box set entitled Sign of the 3-Eyed Men, which included the mono and new, alternate stereo mixes of the original albums together with two albums of previously unreleased material and a number of rare live recordings.

1 comment:

Jon Campbell said...

Another good one, Kim! Ray Wylie Hubbard mentions The Thirteenth Floor Elevators" in his tune "Screw You" (says, "No band is cooler than the Thirteenth Floor Elevators")

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