Recently my friend Sam and I compiled a YouTube playlist of Roky Erickson/13th Floor Elevators (and adjacent) music. I think we found some great stuff so I thought I’d share. Most of them have video as well; for those that don’t, might I suggest some healthy calisthenics, a yoga pose or two, or brewing another pot of mushroom tea?
the dichotomy between the band and dancers in that first video was mesmerizing.
I think the greatest thing is the band had a guy in the band who played the same note on the jug throughout the whole song. And, I would presume, every other song of theirs.
Great song. I remember when it was a hit.
A special aspect of The Elevators’ sound came from Tommy Hall’s innovative electric jug. The jug, a crock-jug with a microphone held up to it while it was being blown, sounded somewhat like a cross between a Minimoog and cuica drum. In contrast to traditional musical jug technique, Hall did not blow into the jug to produce a tuba-like sound. Instead, he vocalized musical runs into the mouth of the jug, using the jug to create echo and distortion of his voice. When playing live, he held the microphone up to the mouth of the jug, but when recording the Easter Everywhere album, the recording engineer placed a microphone inside the jug to enhance the sound.
Hall was born in Memphis, Tennessee to Dr. Thomas James Hall and Margaret “Perky” Perkins, a nurse. Starting in 1961, he studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, and also discovered psychedelic drugs such as LSD, which would form a major part of his philosophy. In Austin, he also met his future wife and occasional Elevators songwriter Clementine Hall (nee Tausch), who he married in 1964. They divorced in 1973.
Hall currently lives in downtown San Francisco. In the 1980s, he was rumored to be the true identity of Texas outsider musician Jandek, but this has since been disproved. He became a devout follower of Scientology in the 1970s. He is a lifelong Republican. He has told interviewers that he is no longer interested in music or thinks of himself as a musician, and that “I lost my jug a long time ago.”
I too at university discovered that LSD would form a major part of my philosophy.