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 counter-cultural 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
Number of Pages: 272
Publication Date: 12 Aug 2020
Publisher: Anthology Editions
Publication City, Country: Brooklyn, United States
Dimensions (cm): 28.5(H) x 21.3(L) x 3.3(W)
Weight (gm): 1336
ReviewsThe story of the 13th Floor Elevators is often told in sudden bursts and strange visions--part earthly chaos, part hallucination. The pioneering psychedelic rock group lasted just four years in the late 1960s before retreating back into the haze. There is little video footage and few interviews from that time period, and it was only later that the extent of the Austin band's influence became clear; their brief history was practically destined for underground music mythology. Fittingly, a new coffee table book compiled by writer and Elevators historian Paul Drummond captures the band's essence in telling fragments, through collected photos and memorabilia, mini oral histories with the members and copious records from the Austin Police Department.
-Pitchfork, April 2020Through the book, Drummond has created a physical archive of the band on the page. These objects, from ticket stubs to records sleeves, are remnants of the past, but Drummond's collection brings them into the present. In A Visual History, the 13th Floor Elevators is a band among the living.
-Louder Than War, May 2020
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. 13th Floor Elevators: The Origin of American Psychedelia places the band finally and undeniably in the pantheon of innovators of American rock music to which they have always belonged.