Even if they never play live again, 13th Floor Elevators’ place in the psych-rock canon is secure. The hugely influential Austin, Texas-based band released one of the first psychedelic records, The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, in 1966, followed by Easter Everywhere in 1967. But walking the path of the psychedelic drug warrior (the band reportedly dropped acid for every live show and recording session) strained the Elevators’ physical and mental health, and in 1969 frontman Roky Erickson was committed to the Austin State Hospital after a pot arrest.
Now, 46 years later, the 13th Floor Elevators are reuniting for a show at the Levitation festival in Austin on May 10. The show will mark the first time that all of the surviving band members—Erickson, electric jug player Tommy Hall, original drummer John Ike Walton, and bassist Ronnie Leatherman—will have shared the stage since 1967. “Special Guests,” which may include fellow festival performers like The Flaming Lips, Spiritualized, Primal Scream, or The Jesus And Mary Chain, are promised for the show.
“When we were going on we weren’t very appreciated, but now the young people dig us,” Hall tells the Austin Chronicle. “With the younger generations’ knowledge and their use of weed for good purposes, they understand the information. Once we have these ideas, it should change us physically.” Sounds pretty righteous. The Levitation Festival, and presumably a whole lot of drug-taking, will take place from May 8-10.