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Thursday, July 16, 2009

13th Floor Elevators - First Person Memories

13th floor elevators

See below two “I was there” accounts of playing gigs with the 13th Floor Elevators:

#1 Dave Dennard Remembers the 13th Floor Elevators

My band, The Novas, played a large show at Market Hall in Dallas with the 13th Floor Elevators, Preachers, Sensations, Generation X (not Billy Idol's group!), the Chaparrals, and Little Gary Ferguson. I think that this was March 25th, 1966, and I have the flyer if you want copies. Admission was $4 p/couple in advance and $5 at the door. Free cokes!

I remember watching the full Elevators set and thinking that they were really ahead of their time. For instance, the jug player was a really interesting touch and it wasn't a "folksy" approach, but rather, the jug added a driving percussive effect that was later replicated by synthesizer sequencers in 1980's records like ZZ Tops' "Legs", and others. The jug just really kicked ass and drove many of the songs...very cool. The band looked really weird (to us anyway) and we were sure that they were stoned. They looked like a local, more hippie-fied version of the Rolling Stones, and they like they hadn't bathed or gotten clean clothes in a week.

I didn't meet Roky, but we all saw each other backstage, as well as loading out. They were from the Houston area so we hadn't been introduced to them, and they looked like they might be unfriendly, so we didn't approach them to talk. It wasn't like they were the Beatles or anything...they were just another weird local band from Texas, but I liked their music live.

That's about all I remember. I'll ask my other band members from The Novas if they have recollections. THX! - - David Dennard

#2 A member of Syns / Smoke Remembers the 13th Floor Elevators

I was in a bad, called the Syns, in the Houston/Galveston area. later became the band, Smoke.

The first show we played with the 'Elevators was at a Catholic high school in Galveston.

We were the typical band of the transition time; Animals, Beatles, 'Stones... dressed in matching Beatle boots, green suede pants and silk balloon sleeve shirts.

I saw the 'Elevators set up, and looked at them and their equipment. Their equipment was trashed, but different than the usual stuff everybody played; first time I saw an echoplex. The band was not very friendly, but I did talk to Roky at bit since he seemed approachable. He said he sang lead when he remembered to. I liked him.

After we played, I went over to watch their set. In one hour, the way I looked at life changed, and the way I looked at music changed. I’m serious. I think they did most of Psychedelic Sounds plus their usual copy stuff.

When I got back on stage for the 2nd set, I told the band that was the last time I’m wearing any of this mod shit. They looked at me in such a way that I knew we were now in separate worlds.

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