Tuesday, March 25, 2014

AVALON ELEVATORS

 This quasi-legal production has shown up in other packages (and titles) since its original issue. It's a fair-quality tape of a 1966 concert that's a decent document for fans. The versions don't differ a heck of a lot from the ones on the records, though "Splash I," given a more forceful and full-bodied folk-rock arrangement, is a notable exception. There are also a few somewhat unexpected covers, like "Roll Over Beethoven," "You Really Got Me," Buddy Holly's "I'm Gonna Love You Too," and the Beatles' "The Word." I added track 12 to this set simply because it's pretty much the Elevator's signature song.

While much of the 13th Floor Elevators’ popularity today rests upon their studio albums and 45s, this wasn’t always the case. Especially not in Texas, where the Elevators first became famous as an outstanding live act, with a combination of ferocious drive and dark mystique that was unlike anything seen before. When the Psychedelic Sounds LP was released in late ‘66, some fans in their hometown Austin felt it was missing a bit of the captivating energy they associated with the band. Even Tommy Hall, the band’s lyricist and intellectual nexus, stated in a 1989 interview that “our real show was live”.

The Elevators never felt entirely at home in San Francisco, although fellow Texan Chet Helms offered them many chances to play at the Avalon. Compiled from those gigs, the Avalon ’66 Tape gives terrific proof of the band’s prowess. Ronnie Leatherman’s bass adds a steady, almost majestic power to newly added numbers like “Before You Accuse Me” and (arguably the high-point) “You Don’t Know”. Compared with the fire-breathing r’n’b drive of the Spring ’66 recordings, updated covers of “The Word” and “You Really Got Me” show the band moving towards a more mature, acid-rock sound. The tape shows, quite simply, a great 60s rock band at the peak of their powers.


 1.  Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
2.  Before You Accuse
3.  You Don't Know
5.  I'm Gonna Love You Too
6.  You Really Got Me
4.  Splash
7.  Fire Engine
8.  Roll Over Beethoven
9.   The Word
10. Monkey Island
11. Roller Coaster
12. You're Gonna Miss Me

2 comments:

Carlos said...

Bill, this is a really good one thanks a lot! Take care :)

24HOURDEJAVU said...

Carlos!! Good to hear from you my friend
Visited your site awhile back Still on the search for those things different Stay Well Bill

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