Monday, August 22, 2011

13 Floor Elevators - WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX - 1966

The 13th Floor Elevators are the original psychedelic rock band from Austin Texas. They formed in 1965. In January of 1966 they released their first single "You're Gonna Miss Me." The 45 was an immediate success and gained the band instant notoriety. However The Elevators rapid ascension to fame brought along some unwanted attention.

The local Texas authorities saw Rocky Erickson as a figure head for the emerging drug culture, and they wanted to make an example of him. The police did not know of any specific crimes that the Elevators had committed but they put a surveillance team on the band because they were sure that Rocky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators must be up to no good.

At the time The Elevators electric jug player, Tommy Hall, happened to be trafficking large amounts of marijuana from Mexico into Texas on a regular basis.

On January 27th, 1966 Roky Erikson, Stacy Sutherland, Tommy Hall, Clementine Hall, and John Ike Walton of the 13th Floor Elevators were arrested on felony charges for possession of Marijuana. The police seized the Elevators van and as a cruel and ironic punishment the authorities used their van as an undercover surveillance vehicle.

In March of '66 The Elvators relocated to Dallas. They were in a new city, paranoid, reclusive and, alienated. They were still shaken up from their bust. Because of their legal problems they coudln't smoke much grass and they were having trouble finding Acid which they liked to drop before every live performance. They began heavily abusing pharmecuitacals such a Amphetamine and Quaaludes to compensate for the illegal drugs they could no longer use. They were seen chugging Listerine before shows and a few members even missed a gig because they were too fucked up on glue to perform. It was during this turbulent period of the their career that The 13th Floor Elevators made their first live television appearance.

This bootleg was recorded on the Sump'n Else television show. Which was a live teen dance show on Dallas' WFAA Channel 11. They made two appearances: The first in March of '66 shortly after moving to Dallas and the second two months later in May.

The recording quality is excellent especially for a bootleg from the mid sixties. The performances are extremely high energy and very psychotic. They also do some interesting tripped out covers of "You Really Got Me", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Have Mercy" and "Gloria". This bootleg sounds more weird, raw, and freaked out than their debut album The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators which had yet to been released when these shows were recorded.

But what makes these recordings really great is the enthusiastic television host who introduces the band and also tries to interview a very spaced out Tommy Hall about the electric jug. He sounds like a typical 1960's television personality. His chipper, wholesome, all american attitude stands in stark contrast to The Elevators who were standing at the forefront of a national cultural and psychedelic revolution which was set to explode in less than a year.

The 13th Floor Elevators
Sump'n Else - WFAA-TV, Dallas, Texas

Recorded: 3.25.1966 & 5.9.1966
Source: Television Broadcast
Duration: 37min
Size: 46.4mb

Set List:
Sump'n Else TV Show, WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX, 3/25/66
1. You're Gonna Miss Me
2. Fire Engine
3. You Really Got Me
4. Roll Over Beethoven

Sump'n Else TV Show, WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX, 5/9/66
1. Mercy, Mercy
2. Tried To Hide
3. Gloria
4. Fire Engine
5. You're Gonna Miss Me
6. Roller Coaster


  1. How come most bands hailing from Austin tend to be so awesome??? It's like a separate country inside of Texas. It's truly amazing, the cultural differences between Austin and say.. Houston or even Dallas. I like to say i hate Texas but when it comes to Austin, its a whole other experience!

  2. The Elevators were Kerrville AND Austin ... well, and Outer Space ...