13th Floor Elevators: A Visual History - Paul Drummond
Published by Anthology Editions, 2020
Born out of a union of club bands on the burgeoning Austin bohemian scene and a pronounced taste for hallucinogens, the 13th Floor Elevators were formed in late 1965 when lyricist Tommy Hall asked a local singer named Roky Erickson to join up with his new rock outfit. Four years, three official albums and countless acid trips later, it was over: the Elevators' pioneering first run ended in a dizzying jumble of professional mismanagement, internal arguments, drug busts and forced psychiatric imprisonments. In their short existence, however, the group succeeded in blowing the lid off the budding musical underground, logging early salvos in the countercultural struggle against state authorities, and turning their deeply hallucinogenic take on jug-band garage rock into a new American institution called psychedelic music. Before the hippies, before the punks, there were the 13th Floor Elevators: an unlikely crew of outcast weirdo geniuses who changed culture. Paul Drummond has spent years documenting every aspect of the history of this amazing band and amassing an unprecedented archive of primary materials, resulting in this comprehensive visual history. The book recounts the story not just of the Elevators as a band--wild and remarkable though it is--but that of the American counterculture itself: the hallucinogens, the rebellion and the truly profound music that resulted. The 13th Floor Elevators: A Visual History places the band finally and undeniably in the pantheon of innovators of American rock music to which they have always belonged.