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on 28 January 2008
LSD and DMT were legal, mescaline grew freely in the form of peyote all over Texas, in the years after Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, then the pioneers of the drug culture inevitably found musicians to reflect these experiences. This laid the foundation in 65 directly for Janis & Big Brother, whose style unashamedly copies the Elevators. This is a music that began in Austin, Texas.
Repressed by the McCartheyist authorities and suppressed by inept management they escaped and became the headline band in Frisco in 66, the year before it all happened there, supported by Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service et al. If only they'd played Monterey! They went back to Texas that winter and, due to bail restrictions, could not return West after their busts. You're not paranoid when the system really is out to get you and they were after the Elevators big time! It didn't help that Tommy was half protecting and half posessing Roky with his incessant "let's drop acid and do music" dogma. That was partly responsible for their genius and partly for their problems. But then, Stacey and Roky's contribution\inadequacies, were equally responsible for that genius\problems conflict - acid casualties three.
Their management failed to do justice to their innovative psychedelic creations with poorly mastered lo-fi recordings. You can get an idea of what they were doing but it hardly does them justice. This is the story of what could have been but for conspiracies, halucinogens, institutionalisation, busts, repression, ineptitude, poor timing and apathy. This was the seed and root of Frisco music which emerged and blossomed on the more liberal West Coast. Without the Elevators it wouldn't have happened. This is the story of that embryonic evolution and how it impacted by osmosis on the bands they touched and sold their drug doctrine to.
Read this book. It is probably a better guide than their CDs to just how huge an influence they were and how to snatch failure from the jaws of success. The aftermath and years since are a Greek tragedy of (arguably self-inflicted) misfortune and psychiatric meanderings. A great recording is Roky's compilation "Even Gremlins have Pictures" but not representative of the Elevator's seminal early years. Roky is surely Texas's version of Syd Barrett. Had they been based in England or LA they would have been enormous but then, where would they have found all that peyote?
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on 31 July 2009
I've got levitation! 424 pages of totally absorbing/fascinating wonderment. The editing/proofreading leaves something to be desired, but hey, that's just the age-ol' Tao workin' out: not even the 13th Floor Elevators were totally perfect, and the odd typo simply serves to remind us that we're all victims of Aristotelian thinking.
Every would-be possessor of a third eye should read this fabulous tome.

Roky on!
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on 12 January 2008
this seems a real labour of love - very detailed, based on extensive interviews, plenty on the social and cultural context of the psychedelic era, great photographs. if you are interested in the Elevators then I highly recommend this book.
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on 23 June 2015
A fabulous read which took about one week to get through. It does get a bit bogged down around the period of late 1968 as there is so much detail involved. If you are a fan of the band it is a must read. How three albums were recorded and issued is beyond me.
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on 18 January 2008
Ah at last! There has been a huge gap in the history of rock n roll literature until the release of this book. It seems unbelievable that apart from rather dodgy collections of press cuttings and compendiums of lyrics that the life and times of one of the most important bands in the history of popular music had not been marked by a serious attempt at critical analysis and story telling. Thankfully this has now been put right. This exemplary history of the band is remarkable in its thoroughness and is a credit to its author. I wont bang on endlessly about what makes it great but basically if you love the band or even have a passing interest in them you should buy this book. Packed with largely unseen photographs and extensive interviews this book is gripping and ultimate a melancholy history of another time. I would recommend purchasing the excellent Roky Erickson doc "Youre Gonna Miss Me" alongside this. I got levitation! Thank you Mr Drummond.
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on 22 July 2014
Undoubtedly this is going to be the best read of the summer once again .. the condition for a paperback is certainly acceptable.
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on 22 November 2008
A fitting tribute to the band - this will be worth the wait for Elevators fans. Meticulously researched and incredibly detailed, and written with a humanism that is often lacking in musical biographies. As Mr Cope suggests in his forward, this IS nothing short of a holy text.
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on 19 January 2015
Ver happy
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VINE VOICEon 12 December 2008
First things first: if you like the Elevators and want to know more, then buy this book. I did, and I'm not sorry, but it isn't a very good book for all that. It's rather ironic that the band could have been enormous, but were let down by unprofessional management, sloppy recordings and a slapdash approach that meant they were cooling their heels on bail in Texas while their moment came and went in California. Ironic because the book that documents their career is itself slapdash and unprofessional.

Sure, Drummond has gathered a huge amount of data and images, and he throws everything in willy nilly. Every image he could find is printed with regardless of quality; whole pages are given over to rambling transcripts of interviews instead of short, telling quotes; and the layout looks like it was done cheaply at home. Just like the recording of the first album, in fact.

It's all readable enough I suppose, but I felt like I was reading the author's notes - albeit tidied up a bit - instead of an actual story.
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on 13 April 2010
Fantastic band, fantastic story, somewhat lost in the masses of detail the author has compiled. Exaustive and ehausting. Could have used a good editor. A must buy for fans though.
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