Overlooked Psychedelia

RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 16, 2005

Letter to the editor,
    Re: “The 14th Floor” [Music, Aug. 12]: I played in three of the bands you never heard of: The Virgil Foxx Group, the Water Brothers, and the Electric Rubayyat. I guess that makes me very unmemorable!
    The Electric Rubayyat: Unfortunately, we followed the demise of the 13th Floor Elevators. My brother Dan (Elevator bassist) was not too enthusiastic. I think "embarrassed" would be more accurate. But we had an interesting lineup: Billy Hallmark on guitar/vocals, Al Acosta on vocals, and Sam Allen on drums. Sam and Al were both members of the San Antonio cult phenomenon the Stoics.
    The Water Brothers featured Don Evans on vocals, John Rogers on guitar, Ricky Kopff on bass, and Bucky Payne on drums. I would describe the Bros as freestyle psychedelic blues/raga/fusion. Note: It should be pointed out that our roadie, Leonard "Eric" Friedland, later founded San Antonio's beloved postmodern pachuco-esque Los #2 Dinners.
    The Virgil Foxx Group: we began as pimply faced dorks and called ourselves the Zilches, but as the acne intensified in direct proportion to our soaring egos, we outgrew the name and needed something "heavier" – something of substance. A name the chicks could dig. So I unashamedly lifted the name from concert organist Virgil Fox. I correctly assumed that no one in a South Texas garage band had ever heard of him. It was too cool (not to be confused with "kewl" and "awesome"). I was not going to let a little thing like ethics and credibility get in the way. I added an extra "X" just to jazz it up. The lineup: Phil Arroyo and Jay Hoyer on vocals (please notice that I did not use the term “sing”), Rick "the Crow" Mendez on guitar, Mike Long on bass, and Rob Meurer on drums. I, of course, played lead guitar. I was a legend in my own mind, Jay charmed the girls right out of their panties, Phil sang everything that required talent, Rob beat the living shit out of his drums, and Mike and "Crow" made sure that the band (and our large entourage) had plenty of "Big Red.” We certainly were arrogant for a bunch of kids with bad hairdos playing cover tunes. But we played them loud and we played them like it really mattered.
    Mr. Hoyer recently passed away (rest in peace). He will be honored at a memorial/roast Sunday, Sept 18, in San Antonio. It should be pointed out that, with all due respect, Mr. Hoyer never could sing.
Robert Galindo
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