Everything You Need to Know About the 13th Floor Elevators
Everything You Need to Know About the 13th Floor Elevators can be found in this quote: "The saga of the 13th Floor Elevators was an Old Testament tale and Roky Erickson was its Job," says musician Julian Cope, who wrote the forward to the band's Paul Drummond-penned biography, Eye Mind, "In 200 years' time there will only be two '60s bands that count - The 13th Floor Elevators and the MC5."
That's pretty lofty praise, but Cope has a point. The 13th Floor Elevators were one of the most forward-looking bands of the era and arguably, the first genuinely, all-out psychedelic band. There were other motions in that direction, most notably Country Joe & the Fish and the Grateful Dead, though both those bands were as indebted to the traditions of folk and blues as they were mind-expanding sounds. The Beatles and Donovan had begun to incorporate some of these ideas into their music, but the Elevators had their phasers on lysergic stun from all points inward and outward.
After you trip life opens up / You start doing what you want to do / And you find out that the world that you once feared / Gets what it has from you
Erickson sang that lyric on "Roller Coaster", the second track on the band's 1966 debut. No reading between the lines necessary there. Sonically, the band employed a biting, reverb-drenched guitar attack that, coupled with Roky's intense snarl, made for a truly unique approach. And we can't forget Tommy Hall and his jug, which added a most twisted element to their sound. Read more to find out Everything You Need to Know About the 13th Floor Elevators.