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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Moving Sidewalks to Reunite in NYC!

moving sidewalks
Moving Sidewalks
Holy shit! The Moving Sidewalks, legendary 1960's rock band that later became ZZ Top and featured a pre-ZZ Top Billy Gibbons, will reunite next March for a single show, at BB King's in New York City. Their lone LP was titled Flash (1968) and is mentioned in just about every cool garage band retrospective book I have come across. The Moving Sidewalks first came to wide attention outside of Texas with the inclusion of their incendiary 1967 single “99th Floor”, an acknowledged nod to Austin psych-rock group, the 13th Floor Elevators, on the second volume of the garage rock anthology - Pebbles.

"It's gonna be a blast," says Dan Mitchell - Drummer. "It's really a cool thing that came together because of the album release. The timing just worked out." "We're looking forward to getting back into it," he says. "We really felt like we were at a peak, getting ready to do something bigger. And then we lost two guys. But there's a lot of material on the album that has never been performed live. It's been interesting to go back in and try to play it."

So far the show appears to be a one-off at the B.B. King Blues Club on March 30. Ideally a hometown reunion will find its way to Houston. Mitchell, Summers and Moore have been rehearsing for weeks and Gibbons will join them in the next few weeks. According to Mitchell, Gibbons hopes the reunion won't be a one-off, but no other shows have yet been set.

Gibbons sang and played guitar in the Sidewalks, which also featured drummer Dan Mitchell, bassist Don Summers and keyboardist Tom Moore on keyboards. The group came together in 1966 but split three years later when Moore and Summers were drafted. Its recordings fell out of print for years, but were recently reissued this year as "The Complete Moving Sidewalks." In their day, Moving Sidewalks recorded their sole LP, Flash, as well as a few singles of psychedelic blues-rock, before evaporating into garage rock history and seeing Gibbons off to radically different prospects.

Back in 1968, the Houston-based Sidewalks were Gibbons (guitars, harmonica, vocals), Tom Moore (keyboards), Don Summers (bass), and Dan Mitchell (drums). (Along with Lanier Greig on keyboards, Mitchell was in the original 1969 lineup of ZZ Top.) In 1968, the Sidewalks released the 10-song Flash, featuring seven compositions written or co-written by Gibbons. While it has been frequently billed as psychedelic/blues rock, Flash has far more in common with the garage/punk rock of the period, as in the music of the Blues Magoos and Sky Saxon's Seeds. The Moving Sidewalks opened for the 13th Floor Elevators at the Houston, psychedelic venue, Love Street Light Circus, located on Commerce Street. The Elevators set was stopped after only a few songs by the Houston police department, who arrested the band's lead singer Roky Erickson.

This is a "guess I am flying to NYC" gig! No, self respecting, Texas Psych fan should miss this! For more than 45 years The Moving Sidewalks music and their friendship have endured.  From hippie jam bands to garage bands you can hear their influence.  Now Dan, Tom, Don, and Billy are taking the stage again to celebrate their legacy and the newly released Moving Sidewalks- The Complete Collection by reissue specialists Rockbeat Records.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to locate Tom, Don &Dan for years to interview for my upcoming book, "Another Place, Another Time/AHistory of Psychedelic Music". Any help contacting them would be greatly appreciated. I was at Jones Sound Studio when that album was recorded, and Later, played it while at KPFT/Houston.