13th Floor Elevators to Give First Performance by Original Members Since 1967
For years, festivals have provided a good opportunity for long-dormant bands to reunite. The Levitation Festival, which will be held in Austin, TX, from May 8-10, has persuaded the surviving original members of one of its hometown bands, the 13th Floor Elevators, to give their first performance since 1967.
Consequence of Sound reports that Roky Erickson (guitar, vocals), Tommy Hall (electric jug), John Ike Walton (drums), and Ronnie Leatherman (bass) will headline the festival’s final day, and that special guests will sit in with them. Stacy Sutherland, the original lead guitarist, was accidentally shot by his wife during an argument in 1978.
Hailing from Austin, the 13th Floor Elevators were a pioneering garage psychedelic band, releasing their first single, “You’re Gonna Miss Me,’ in late-1966, nearly a year before the Summer of Love began. The song only reached No. 55 on Billboard’s Hot 100, the closest that they came to a hit. They called it quits in 1969 — two years after Walton and Leatherman left — when Erickson was admitted into a psychiatric hospital, where he stayed for three-and-a-half years, at which time he began an ill-fated solo career.
But their music has continued to find new audiences. The inclusion of “You’re Gonna Miss Me” on 1972’s Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 compilation proved influential in the development of punk. In 1990, the favor was repaid with Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson, which saw bands as diverse as ZZ Top, R.E.M. and the Jesus and Mary Chain covering Erickson’s songs.
For complete information on the Levitation Festival, visit its website.
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