Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Nuggets #3 – 13th Floor Elevators

13th floor elevators

If there was one band which encapsulated the essence of “Nuggets” it was without doubt the 13th Floor Elevators who originated in Austin, Texas in 1965 their  classic debut track, which features on the original Nuggets album, below was released in January 1966.

“You’re Gonna Miss Me” – 13th Floor Elevators

The single has a distinctive sound in part due to the use of the “electric jug” and this was taken further into their debut album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators  also released in 1966

the psychedelic sounds of

Today, the 13th Floor Elevators continues to influence new generations of musicians. In 1990, 21 contemporary bands — including R.E.M., ZZ Top, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Primal Scream — recorded covers of Elevators songs on Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson, one of the first tribute albums, in what would become a fad. In 2005, a panel at the SXSW music festival discussed the music of the Elevators and Powell St. John, one of the Elevators’ songwriters.

The song “You’re Gonna Miss Me” was covered by influential Australian group Radio Birdman on their 1977 album Radios Appear.

Seminal 1980s drone/space-rock band Spacemen 3 were hugely influenced by the 13th Floor Elevators, covering Roller Coaster twice, for debut album Sound of Confusionand as a 17 minute version for debut EP “Walkin’ With Jesus”. Vocalist/guitarist Pete Kember also covered “Thru the Rhythm” with his post-Spacemen 3 project Spectrum.

Other notable covers are “You’re Gonna Miss Me” by the Psycotic Pineapple, “(I’ve Got) Levitation” by Julian Cope, and “Reverberation (Doubt)” by the Jesus and Mary Chain.

Le Bonne Route, a 1996 album by Deniz Tek of Radio Birdmanfeatures a song titled ‘Lunatics at the Edge of the World’, which Tek described as “An ode to Syd Barrettand Roky Erickson.”

Starting in 1999, a group of fans started the Roky CD Club to disseminate rare and unreleased 13th Floor Elevators & Roky Erickson music. To date, they have put out almost fifty volumes of material, to much acclaim, while helping spread the ‘Elevators message and name.

In the 2000 movie High Fidelity, “You’re Gonna Miss Me” was used in the opening scene and is the first song on the movie soundtrack.

In 2006, Dell Computers used “You’re Gonna Miss Me” in one of their ads for their XPS laptop.

On April 24, 2007, during a radio promotion/interview before a concert, Jesse Laceyof Brand new credited the inspiration and a few lyrics for the song Degausser to Roky Erickson.

The band have also been an influence on the “stoner rock” scene the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Nebula and Names and Faces have regarded them as a big influence.

Noted Hollywood actor Johnny Depppraised the Elevators in a 2005 interview with Esquire Magazine: “Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, a band out of Texas. They were basically the first psychedelic-rock band. 1965. And if you listen to old 13th Floor Elevators stuff—Roky Erickson especially, his voice—and then go back and listen to early Led Zeppelin, you know that Robert Plant absolutely copped everything from Roky Erickson. And it’s amazing. And Roky Erickson is sitting in Austin, Texas; he’s just there. And Robert Plant had a huge hit. It always goes back to those guys, you know? I love those fucking guys.”

Additionally, in the novel Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve the airship belonging to Thaddeus Valentine is named The Thirteenth Floor Elevator

Here is the electric jug in action

To buy Nuggets click HERE

To buy the music of the 13th Floor Elevators click HERE




September 30, 2009 - Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music, Video | ,

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