Tuesday, August 18, 2020


A companion piece to Drummond's earlier Elevators history EYE MIND, A VISUAL HISTORY recycles whole chunks of that book (including the incident where Roky informed Clementine Hall that Russians were sending messages through his teeth to kill Jackie Kennedy before remarking "You know Clementine, you look like Jackie!") but I guess flashbacks are apropos when the subject is the Elevators.

There are a wealth of previously unseen photos of the band in action, most taken by teenage fans who still have the wherewithal to point the camera at the stage after their Pepsi was spiked with something other than aspirin.

Check out the TV GUIDE listings from when the band was on the boob tube, Hey, you could have watched HOPPITY HOOPER right before they played on AMERICAN BANDSTAND!

The book closes with some pics of the reformed band at the Levitation Fest in 2015 as they blaze into the psychedelic sunset, reminding us all of what could have been had the Austin Police Department been defunded in 1966!


New York 'Dolf said...

Roky was a degenerate who deserved to be turned into a bar of soap.

PS: They couldn't play their instruments.

PPS: If my honesty is too much for you to handle, mmm, sorry, not sorry.

Vincent Canby said...

Prometheus did nothing wrong.

Alvin Bishop said...

New to me, I searched online. For my money, a bit quaint, even amateurish. Not up to, say, The Zombies, The Association, Orpheus or The Ultimate Spinach. More along the lines of The Blues Magoos. Interesting artifact. Cheers!

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

I wonder just how deaf a guy has to be to prefer the Association or Orpheus to the Elevators.

I hope I never find out. Jeezus, Roky could fart on an elevator and it would sound better than "Cherish."

Puddinhead said...

Well that's a first! In over 50 years The Elevators have been called a lot of things.....but never quaint.

Alvin Bishop said...

"Cherish," if one takes the time to really listen, is a rather sophisticated composition, approaching jazz. Some interesting changes. Subtle stuff. Take it from one who is classically trained on piano, and has delved into jazz.

I cannot hear any sort of sophistication in The 13th Floor Elevators, and I tried. About the best I can say is this: Maybe they were the beginning of something that actual musicians - The Jefferson Airplane or Beacon Street Union, etc - could take a few levels higher.

Jazz began with barnyard noise in brothels, then Paul Whiteman made a lady of jazz. And, in time, behold! Dave Brubeck! Return to Forever! Mahavishnu! Weather Report! Chicago! So, psychedelic had to start somewhere.

All that said, to each his own! If you enjoy the band, so be it!


MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Chicago is also shit, Alvin. "Sophistication" is somewhere down around 37th when it comes to deciding what's good in rock.

"Cherish" sounds like something that might have been played at Julie Nixon's wedding. It's garbage. It's appreciated by people who think "She's Leaving Home" is the best Beatles song. You need to sit down and listen to Fun House a couple of dozen times. Maybe there's hope for you yet.

Alvin Bishop said...

Moe, I'd state that "She's Leaving Home" (and "Something") rate as tip-top Beatle tunes! Actually, the entire run from "Sgt Pepper" to "Abbey Road" is all primo Beatles. Top of the line in rock.

The Stooges? Been there, done that! Amusing. Rather like watching four precocious tykes throwing a tantrum to entertain mummy and daddy's friends. Good for a larf, but lacking in musicianship. Shock rock like The Stooges or Alice Cooper only goes so far, and that ain't far. However, once again, if something so crude ultimately led to, say, Television or Tin Huey or Elvis Costello, well, they served a purpose, a greater good, as it were, so to speak, if you will.


MoeLarryAndJesus said...

So you don't like actual rock music. You're a pop guy.

Fun House is a billion times more "sophisticated" than "Cherish," of course. But then you probably also prefer the Partridge Family to the entire ESP catalog. I can't understand it.

Alvin Bishop said...

LOL! Agree to disagree, Moe! That's part of what makes Chris' blog a must: diversity of opinion!

And no, no Partridge Family around here, nary a scrap of bubblegum in Casa Bishop. But plenty of stuff along the lines of Kensington Market, The Left Banke, The Zombies, Tin Huey, as well as a lot of good jazz: Weather Report, et al. If that's "pop," so be it! Call me Pop-along Bishop!


Charles Hodgson said...

Hope Alvin never gets to hear Swell Maps, Suicide, Vertical Slit, Electric Eels or Kleenex.

Musicianship, in that "craftsmanship" / "serve your apprenticeship" way has never meant anything to me, I'm not asking these guys to build me a house. Its whatever works. They sound great to me, and if they had the "chops" of Led Zepp or the Zombies, or whoever, it would have ruined them.

The most boring sound in the world to me are those muso fucking blues jam bands that used to infest shows like The Old Grey Whistle Test in the '70's and the presenter would come on at the end stroking his beard saying "great, really nice" at the end. They'd eliminated *Fun* from rock and roll, and they were glad about it. The same presenter jeered "mock rock" after the Dolls roared through great versions of "Personality Crisis" and "Jet Boy".

FFS, I'm with ML&J on this. Always said he was a great guy! (Enjoy the Trump landslide guaranteed by the rioting arseholes in Portland, et al!)

Charles Hodgson said...

Also, I meant to say, the Elevators play fucking great, that much is obvious.