God help the human race. We have been like cattle, slogging our way through day to day existence for millenniums now. We’re due for a break. This ‘Beaver Cleaver’ thing is a dead end that leads us to behave like lemmings where sub-consciously self-induced death is the inevitable result. Don’t you want to escape the meaninglessness of doilies? Don’t you despair at the demands of PTA meetings? Doesn’t your lawn make you feel insufficient, and come to think of it, doesn’t your wife and kids make you feel insecure? Don’t you crave a break from your responsibilities at the advertising firm? Wouldn’t you love to escape? Wouldn’t you love to run naked along the beach? Drink wine in the Himalayas? Fly an airplane underwater? All you need to do is put this tab of paper under your tongue, and an entirely new realm of existence will appear before your very eyes. You will be set free. You will no longer behave like a lemming.
Try to imagine a time when an element of American culture was actually espousing the virtues of LSD, when Ivy League professors and well respected authors praised its virtues. The idea of ingesting acid was considered a ‘mind expanding’ experience. Roky Erikson and the Elevators not only bought into the concept, they became its most eager proliferators. “Slip Inside This House” is one of the most ambitious advertisements for feeding your head ever written, with lyrics that go on for pages. For full effect, you should find the lyrics and read along; It’s a genuine work of genius that convincingly conveys ‘mind expansion’ as a means of achieving a unique perspective on human existence. “Earthquake”, “Levitation” and especially “Pictures (Leave Your Body Behind)” only further their viewpoint.
In the end, it wasn’t acid alone that destroyed the 13th Floor Elevators. A disapproving society held the band in such contempt that nothing less than total destruction would suffice. After a few years of nearly continuous tripping, Jug player Tommy Hall’s behavior grew highly erratic. For Roky Erikson, the drug either caused or exacerbated a state of severe paranoid schizophrenia. But, can you call it paranoia if there really is a police car in your rear view mirror? What if people really are following you? In 1968, Erikson was busted for possession of one marijuana joint. In an attempt to avoid a ten year prison term, Erikson pleaded insanity and subsequently admitted to Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. While there, he was administered electro-shock therapy and thorazine. Miraculously, Erikson resumed making music after his release, but now focusing mostly on aliens, demons, and frightening science fiction for his thematic base.
November 1967 - Billboard: Did Not Chart
- 1 of 11