Tuesday, October 26, 2010

not new music

13th Floor Elevators - Death in Texas (IA)/The Magic of the Pyramids (Collectables)

Tonight we have two releases from Texas' finest, the 13th Floor Elevators. Both of these recordings are from the same show, the infamous February 18, 1967 gig at the Houston Music Theatre. I've only included the first two thirds of the Death in Texas cd, which is disc 10 of last year's limited edition (and totally awesome) Sign of the 3-Eyed Men box set put out by the resurrected label International Artists. The tracks I left off were from reunion shows in the late 70s and mid 80s. The Magic of the Pyramids has several songs from the same show that aren't included on Death in Texas, as well as an alternate version of the Easter Everywhere gem 'Dust.'

The Magic of the Pyramids was actually the first Elevators recording that I ever bought and I can't tell you how many straight months that it stayed in the tape deck of my 1975 Cadillac when I was a teenager. Maybe that's why I have always had a soft spot for these recordings when many consider them a complete mess and a document of a band that was falling apart. The late Elevators guitarist Stacy Sutherland gave his recollection of the night in a 1977 interview:

"The most mystic vision I ever had was concerning a show we did here in Houston, Theatre In The Round [a k a Houston Music Theatre]. And I had taken some acid, I hadn't had any in quite a while, and it was a super strong dose, about a 1,000 microgram or something. And we had to do a concert, and all of a sudden everyone started glowing. They had a foot of light, like a neon light around them in the room… real bright. And everyone started glowing away, and I freaked out that I was going to die or something. I had some bad trips before, but nothing like this. And then everybody turned into wolves, and I thought that our band was evil, because of some of the things we had advocated. We had had a controversy going on quite a while about advocating drugs and so forth, and mixing it with religion, you know. 'Cause I felt like that was pretty dangerous ground to tread. And Tommy and I were arguing about that quite a bit. I got on a bummer about it evidently. And I was tryin' to escape the room, I didn't know what I was gonna do, but I was gonna get out of there. I didn't want anything to do with it 'cause everybody was turning into animals. And all of a sudden there were angels, and I couldn't move my body anymore. I lost physical feeling all over and I was laying on the floor. And everybody turned into angels, and everybody in the room was the judge at my trial to decide whether I was worthy to enter heaven or hell. Because it was absolute that I was going to die anyway you know."

The rest of the interview, along with a wealth of other Elevators info, can be found here. Enjoy!


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