The 13th Floor Elevator, with Roky sporting his 6th Grade Picture Day smile
NOTE: I’m re-posting this classic in memory of the mighty Roky Erickson who passed on this week. I’ll be doing a full two-hour tribute to Roky and the Elevators this Wednesday on Testify! (wfmu.org/playlists/TG).
The track I bring you today is my favorite track by one of my all-time favorite bands, the mighty 13th Floor Elevators.
Though most people with think of them as a Nuggets-style one hit wonder, or a psychedelic curiousity, I’d place the Elevators in the top rank of US bands of the 1960s.
They were brilliant songwriters and performers, with a unique, consistent sound who made some of the best albums of their time.
Today’s selection, ‘Slip Inside This House’ was the opening track on the group’s sophomore LP ‘Easter Everywhere’ from 1967. The original LP track clocked in 1t 7:55, with the 45 edit cut down (with a slightly jarring edit at 3:49) to just over four minutes.
The Elevators were nothing if not ahead of their time, genuinely/deeply psychedelic at a time when most innovators were just dabbling, dark at a time when light and poppy was the coin of the realm, and featuring an amplified jug in their front line (which looks insane on paper, yet managed to be a key part of their sound).
Opening with Stacy Sutherland’s modal guitar, soon joined by Tommy Hall’s jug and Roky’s wail, ‘Slip Inside This House’ is as mind-blowing today as it must have been in 1967.
The band builds a strangely powerful rumble, with the modulating jug and lead guitar weaving in and out, from one ear to another, Roky’s voice cutting through like a knife.
It is an amazing track from a drastically underrated band.
I hope you dig it.
See you next week.