Paul Drummond

Books Reviews Roky Erickson
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Paul Drummond

Deep in the head of Texas

An incredible tale lurks in the 400+ pages of tiny type here

, which is both a corrective to the monolithic San Francisco Sound hype and the most detailed—if incomplete—rendering of Austin’s bohemian pre-hippie days.

The Elevators—with their classic lineup of Roky Erickson, Tommy Hall, Stacy Sutherland, Benny Thurman and John Ike Walton—blazed an acid-soaked trail through Texas and (briefly) the San Francisco ballrooms, pursued by cops and groupies, blowing minds (especially their own) as they went.

Signed to America’s least competent record company, with Hall preaching a garbled gospel of lysergic salvation, and Roky and Stacy apparently incapable of saying no to any drug whatsoever, they shouldn’t have had what success they did, but Drummond gets the story as only an obsessive could. He could’ve used an editor, and misses the forest for describing each leaf on each tree, but he threads nicely through Roky’s post-band incarcerations, psychological problems and eventual salvation.