Celebrate this Halloween with the ghost of Roky Erickson.
The Dallas-born godfather of psychedelic rock died last year at age 71. His band, the 13th Floor Elevators, formed in Austin in 1965 and broke up four years later. Schizophrenia, substance abuse and personal tragedy marked Erickson’s life, but his music career had a 14-year rebirth up to the end of his life.
A 19-year-old Erickson and the Elevators “performed” their hit “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” on American Bandstand on Halloween 1966. But five months before that, the band played for real on Dallas’ own teen dance show, Sump’n Else, which was hosted by Ron Chapman and broadcast live from a soundproof storefront at NorthPark Center. It aired on WFAA from 1965-68.
Bud Buchard, who worked on the show, digitized audiotapes of the 13th Floor Elevators’ two appearances on Sump’n Else.
Buchard says a promoter brought them the 13th Floor Elevators’ first album in February 1966. They’d never heard of Contact, the record company, but this was supposed to be a crazy band from Austin that everyone was so into.
Once they played “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” on the air, they had to play it every week because it was such a popular song in Dallas, he says.
Listen below, along with the American Bandstand gig and an epic interview with Dick Clark.
Clark, who supposedly was annoyed with the band for being late, asks, “Who is the head man here?”
Without missing a beat, electric jug player Tommy Hall replies, “We’re all heads.”
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