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Eye Mind: Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  315 ratings  ·  29 reviews

“One of the most exhilarating and important rock ’n’ roll stories ever told.”—Julian Cope

The trailblazing 13th Floor Elevators released the first “psychedelic” rock album in America, transforming culture throughout the 1960s and beyond. The Elevators followed their own spiritual cosmic agenda, to change society by finding a new path to enlightenment. Their battles with re

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Hardcover, 350 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Process Packaging (first published February 1st 2007)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Bob Schnell
Thank goodness for Goodreads, otherwise I might not have known this book actually existed. Like many fans of Roky Erickson and the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, I love the music but know next to nothing about them except what was written in the mysterious liner notes on various releases. The documentary "You're Gonna Miss Me" helped to fill in some of the history but there was still much to know. As "Eye Mind" by Paul Drummond showed me, I knew nothing.

At first I was wondering if there was enough
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Marti
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, gonzo
I consider myself to be a super fan of this group since I first heard "You're Gonna Miss Me" on WNEW in New York in about 1977. Their debut album actually took a while to track down because it was rare and only available at record shows for about $100 which was a little pricey back then. It was only later when reasonably priced re-issues came out that I actually acquired the music. Since I knew almost nothing about the band's actual story, I had assumed they were much more obscure in their heyda ...more
Rob
Aug 07, 2008 rated it liked it
occasionally over-intellectualizes to (and past) the point of unintentional humor.

the most annoying thing about this book is the author's total buying into the tommy hall schtick. uhhhhh, sorry, but tommy hall isn't/wasn't any kind of a visionary genius, or whatever it is you're trying to make him out to be. more like a shit-talking control-freaking drug addict with a BA in philosophy. big deal.

otherwise, this is fascinating stuff.
...more
Daniel
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
As many other reviewers have noted, this book is an amazing achievement: remarkably well-researched, with some incredible interviews and photos, but it could also seriously use some editing and I hope there's a revised edition eventually. Many facts and observations are repeated, or presented according to a slightly peculiar chronology, all of which could be improved by some simple pruning and reorganizing of the text.

The title is a slight misnomer as the book goes into great detail about all of
...more
Jason
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jason by: John Pinkston
Tommy Hall: "So, man in the future is going to be sitting in front of one of these albums, not necessarily ours, and the album will do a thing to him that would be like music and would not normally be expected It would make him totally dissociate his actual ever-continuing self from his perishable eggshell earth presence, and he would go to a completely different world. And the more he does that, the more he can learn about that world of immortality, which is just a feeling. That's what we're tr ...more
Vaughan
Dec 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in bands that have fallen through the cracks
sweet jesus...for 20 plus years I've been praying for a book that would the reveal the confusing and convoluted acid-clouded history of the 13th Floor Elevators, and this far surpasses what I'd even dreamed of...I've only read 60 or so pages, but just looking at the photos makes you realize what a SERIOUS work this is--I mean this guy didn't just zerox a bunch of the known Elevators photos and it is this attention to detail that is paying off, at least for rabid fans like me. Wisely, Drummond le ...more
Patrick Neylan
Aug 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: music, non-fiction
First things first: if you like the Elevators and want to know more, then buy this book. I did, and I'm not sorry, but it isn't a very good book for all that. It's rather ironic that the band could have been enormous, but were let down by unprofessional management, sloppy recordings and a slapdash approach that meant they were cooling their heels on bail in Texas while their moment came and went in California. Ironic because the book that documents their career is itself slapdash and unprofessio ...more
Ma
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Eye Mind is a detailed account of kids on drugs running from the pigs while bringing forth the message of psychedelia through rock n roll in 1960's Texas. More than just a mouthful, it was a crazy time swept under the carpet by the more sought out San Fran freaksplosion but now this truly insane group's tale has been brought to light. Through the inquisitive yet respectful digging of Drummond via interviews with everyone and their mother, we get in many areas of the groups evolution that we pre ...more
Trace Reddell
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Second time through this book, previously in conjunction with the then-current Roky Erickson documentary, "You're Gonna Miss Me." The oral history aspect of the book is still its strongest feature, as well as its comprehensive take on the band, its core members, and later additions, as well as friends, lovers, accomplices, parents, police, and so on. The story has some very tragic aspects to it, of course, and to some extent I'm bummed that the lives ultimately seem to outshine the music here. T ...more
Avis Black
Oct 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Very boring narrative, and the subject matter deserves better.
José
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting but too long
Robert W
Sep 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any fan of garage rock or psychedelic rock
Shelves: booksaboutmusic
I had a vague mental notion of the history of the 13th Floor Elevators and Roky Erickson, but this book really laid out the promise and tragedy of this group. I first encountered Erickson's music as a college student in the early 80s, when I heard the song "Bloody Hammer." Lots of Erickson's songs from this era have an almost cartoonish horror-movie vibe to them, but at the same time have an urgency that undercuts the silliness. "Bloody Hammer" is a perfect example. I had the album The Evil One, ...more
Kerry
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well, first off, who's afraid of the big bad wolf? And who here has even heard of the 13th floor elevators?! If you haven't, educate yourself. Meet one of the founding bands of alternative-punk & psychadekic music. Get in it to win it kids.

Second, after reading this book, I felt like I was on an acid trip for week after...it's 11 o'clock somewhere and mama needs her sugar. In fact if mybloodstream were to be tested for any illegal substances after reading this book, I'd surely be doing at least
...more
Russell Belding
Many articles and rock encyclopedia entries have been written about the 13th Floor Elevators; how they were true believers in the transformative powers of hallucinogens; how they were busted more than once for drugs; how their lead singer, Roky Erickson, has spent time in and out of institutions; how their producer was Kenny Rogers' brother Lelan. This is the first comprehensive book about the band. The author includes many photos and a whole lot of facts. Unsurprisingly, when your book is abou ...more
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Rock fans
Every fan of ‘60’s garage or psych should be familiar with at least a few of the Elevators’ tunes. This book details their history out of Texas and into rock ‘n roll myth. The book has its faults but, considering the source material, fans of the Elevators and Roky Erickson should get something out of it. It’s a rather sad story about talent, especially Erickson’s and Sutherland’s, squandered and sidelined by drugs, legal difficulties and poor management. Think acid tests and cuckoos’ nests. Stil ...more
Michele
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ok, I'll be honest. I haven't quite finished it. I started strong and was having a blast. The interviews are incredible! The author thoroughly researched this book and tracked down as many people as possible associated with the band - friends, family members, fans. In-depth interviews with band members, tons of photos. If you ever wanted the know the truth about Tommy Hall's influence and or the mysterious Clementine or the stories behind some of the stongs this is your reference. What slowed me ...more
Greg Swallow
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Thorough. The screeds about religion and numerology, etc. - trying to explain the records where Tommy Hall failed - I just had to skip, but that was less than a dozen pages. I would have scoffed at the albums listening to them, too, for their hopeless fake intellectualism. That the Elevators' careers were such a letdown gave the book an anticlimactic feel at the end; the final 100 pages were slow. But you certainly can't fault the author. Well done. ...more
Mark Winkelmann
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It probably helps that the Elevators story was wilder and weirder than 98% of other bands, but ist well written too. Interesting to separate myth form reality. Though given how little documentation and the ravages of time, the grim reaper and drugs there's elements of the story which will never truly be understood. ...more
Johngerard
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Everything you ever needed to know (and possibly a tad too much more) about the previously under documented Elevators. Comprehensive and generally fascinating as an overview of the life of freaks trying to make their own way in conservative mid 60s Texas. Had the albums playing on repeat all the way through.
Rupert
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great story written and organized well. Obviously the work of a fan, but kept it fairly objective and got everyone's view points in. Also didn't just concentrate on the drug and "crazy" aspects. Highly recommended not only for Roky and Elevator fans, but for fans of garage rock in general and social aspects of the '60s in the South. ...more
David
Aug 27, 2008 added it
although I'm still reading this, I can see that the author goes into a little too much detail about every person mentioned in the book so far.

The book gets a bit more interesting as it finally winds to a close. Still, very informative. If not too informative.
...more
Robert Lewis
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Simultaneously inspiring and tragic. The Thirteenth Floor Elevators were true pioneers. They went places most of us can only dream of -- and paid the price.
Kathryn
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the most informative book on Roky Erickson and the Austin, TX psychedelic music scene, excellent read.
Steve
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of the best rock and roll books I have ever read....
great for putting you in the time and place...
the 1960's


...more
G Scott
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
a tale of star-crossed musicians before their time and the missed opportunities that bit them in the butt later on. & a TON of LSD.
Jon Rose
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
The author did a great job researching for this book, although he spends a little too much on Tommy's philosphy. A true story that is amazing and tragic. ...more
Mbrignall2
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This is a very sad story, but I still couldn't put it down. It is hard to believe that this happened in America, a country that prides itself on freedom. ...more
David
rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2008
Mike Mathews
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Johnny B3
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EYE MIND 1 15 Jan 25, 2008 06:10AM  

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