High Baptismal Flow: Part 2

The 13th Floor Elevators' ground floors: Where are they now?

"Slip Inside This House" hypnotizes me still, the beckoning of the cosmic finger to enter another realm of consciousness. And the questions keep coming. Does what Tommy Hall says about the 13th Elevators push buttons with the other band members? How do they see their place in rock & roll history? Do they know how seminal the music was?

Talking to Clementine Hall, she reveals that she's the 13th in a matriarchal line, all named Clementine. "Thirteen," she says in her confident voice, "is such a powerful number. It was the right number for them." With those words, visiting with Elevators John Ike Walton and Ronnie Leatherman in Kerrville, and speaking with Benny Thurman and Danny Thomas as well as the late Danny Galindo's brother Bob, extends a rare and unique descent into the 13th Floor Elevators with the band themselves as guides. Last week's overview of the group and accompanying interview with Tommy Hall continues this week with further recollections from all the aforementioned.

The 13th Floor Elevators took psychedelia to a level no other band ever had. Their three studio albums, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators, Easter Everywhere, and Bull of the Woods, form the sonic pyramid that is still the model for bands such as Primal Scream, Butthole Surfers, Clinic, the Djinns, and the Chesterfield Kings. In doing so, the music lives and reverberates, decade after decade.

Special thanks to Jack Ortman for the use of his 13th Floor Elevators art archives.

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