In this episode of Audiography, we conclude our profile of the Texas Garage and Psychedelic Rock Scene. Our attention shifts to two bands: the 13th Floor Elevators and the Red K[C]rayola. The first is arguably the most influential band of the movement and the second, perhaps the longest lived, still recording new material as recently as 2010.
The 13th Floor Elevators have been credited with being the founders of psychedelic rock or at least the first truly psychedelic rock band. Led by electric jug player Tommy Hall, a firm believer in LSD and its metaphysical and spiritual power, the Elevators would record and play live entirely under the influence of acid. Pre-dating the concept album, the Elevators debut was written and sequenced by Hall specifically to reflect a spiritual roadmap to enlightenment. The groups singer, Roky Erikson, and his signature wail fueled with fiery passion added a painful soul to Halls lyrics, and has been credited as contributing to Janis Joplins singing style. Their influence was certainly felt and heard throughout the Texas scenes and was a contributing factor to what we now call the San Francisco Sound. Whether they were the first or not is of secondary concern.
Unlike most of the other groups to emerge from the Texas scenes, the Red Krayolas (originally spelled with a C) sound was a blend of avant-country folk and noise rock and at times was more akin to an aural stream of consciousness, presaging the lo-fi aesthetic of the ’90s. Led by Mayo Thompson, the original trio split after the bands third recording. Thompson continued to record as a solo artist and as the Red Krayola, working with bands such as the Raincoats and Pere Ubu as well as integrating into the ’90s Chicago Post Rock Scene.
01. 13th Floor Elevators “Youre Gonna Miss Me (bed music)”
02. 13th Floor Elevators “Reverberation”
03. 13th Floor Elevators “Tried to Hide”
04. 13th Floor Elevators “Levitation”
05. The Red Crayola “Parable of Arable Land (edit)(bed music)”
06. The Red Crayola “Hurricane Fighter Plane”
07. The Red Krayola “Dairymaids Lament”
CoS Podcast Audiography Episode 003 Texas Garage and Psychedelia, part 3
Written and Produced by Len Comaratta