Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 13th Floor Elevators (1988) -Live at The New Orleans Club, Austin, late 1966 or 1967

Artist: The 13th Floor Elevators
Album: Live [vinyl rip]
Recorded at The New Orleans Club, Austin, late 1966 or 1967
Released: 1988
Quality: FLAC (tracks)
Size: 313 MB

”THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR ELEVATORS - the much-discussed mid-sixties legends whose name and music have become better known and more influential in the past fifteen years than either ever were during the brief period the group was together. Musically and philosophically the Elevators were in a class of their own, and far ahead of their time, describing themselves as 'psychedelic' as early as late 1965; and it took talent, vision and a large amount of guts to do so in the reactionary social climate of Texas.

Most of the material here is from the first album and the inclusion of 'Levitation' and 'She Lives' (early and mid-1967 singles respectively) suggest a date after the release of "Psychedelic Sounds" in late 1966. What makes matters confusing is the claim by the tape's source that the performance is no later than September 1965. The recording was made by Walt Andrus, whose Houston studio and production company recorded many of the International Artists acts. Andrus was unlikely to have been with the Elevators much before mid-1966, when International Artists licensed 'You're Gonna Miss Me' from Austin label Contact. Somebody who was involved with Contact was Gordon Bynum, the "young up-and-coming producer" of 'You're Gonna Miss Me', who apparently helped arrange this taping for the group. The venue is Houston's famed La Maison Ballroom, where the Elevators played regularly throughout their career; the Texas Archive album "Elevator Tracks" includes five tracks recorded at La Maison in the summer of '66, and they do sound earlier in comparison to what we have here.
The sound of the band is another important point in determining the date. Listening to the set, it appears to have been performed by the same line-up who recorded the first album. Certainly, the nucleus of Roger 'Roky' Erickson (vocal and guitar), Tommy Hall (electric jug) and Stacy Sutherland (lead guitar) are present, and the drumming is probably that of John Ike Walton, detectable by his idiosyncratic, cymbal-dominated style. Walton, an imposing figure, and reportedly so powerful his kit had to be chained to the stage, left the band on less than amicable terms just prior to the making of "Easter Everywhere", in June 1967. The bass player could either be Bennie Thurman, who played on "Psychedelic Sounds", or his replacement Ronnie Leatherman (who is pictured on the cover of "Elevator Tracks").
Whatever the truth, the tape was probably not intended for commercial release as the performance is fairly subdued (by the standard of the earlier live tapes) and an unusual, disjointed atmosphere pervades, perhaps due to inter-band wrangles, hassles with police (to act or even look like the Elevators did then was to 'flip the bird' to authority) or, no doubt, increasing drug usage. The lack of crowd noise is surprising because by 1967 the Elevators were finally being accepted as the innovators they were and subsequently became one of Texas' top crowd drawers. However, this album provides a fascinating glimpse at the development of the band; and while not containing classic Elevators recordings, it offers exceptional clarity and hitherto unheard live renditions of many of their best songs, and thus can only add to the phenomenon that was and is THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR ELEVATORS.”
~ sleeve notes by Alec Palao

1. A1 - Fire Engine
2. A2 - Tried To Hide
3. A3 - Levitation
4. A4 - Don't Fall Down
5. A5 - Kingdom Of Heaven
6. A6 - You're Gonna Miss Me
7. B1 - Reverberation (Doubt)
8. B2 - Monkey Island
9. B3 - Roller Coaster
10. B4 - Splash 1
11. B5 - She Lives In A Time Of Her Own

Drums – John Ike Walton
Guitar – Stacy Sutherland
Vocals, Guitar – Roky Erickson
Jug [Amplified] – Tommy Hall
Other [Notes By] – Alec Palao
Bass - Bennie Thurman or Ronnie Leatherman


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