I've been mad about the Elevators since I purchased a used copy of the Lenny Kaye Nuggets LP when I was 11 or 12, and shortly afterwords snagged a copy of the original 45 thru the pages of Goldmine; itself a landmark as it was the first time I paid $10 for a 45! Before that it was $3 TOPS. I had to wait a few more years (1991) to purchase appalling quality CD's of their 4 albums. Thankfully, all wrongs are now righted and the recent box set "Music Of The Spheres" presents the definitive vinyl versions of these albums in the best ever fidelity (the mono edition of the first album in the box sounds WAY better than my original copy thanks to a high quality pressing). when I dropped the needle on Nuggets for the first time, "You're Gonna Miss Me" jumped out of the speakers and dug into my brain in a way that is reserved for a certain musical elite; I rate the Elevators as the absolute topper-most echelon of 1960's rock n roll music; I never like to pick favorites, but simply stated there are no better groups (although the 60's produced plenty that were EQUALS in excellence). The voice of Roky Erickson is one of the true wonders of the world, and Stacy Sutherland is one of my guitar heroes.
Before the release of their first album in late '66 (and while "You're Gonna Miss Me" was making waves on the national charts), the group spent months in San Francisco playing relentlessly in the city and surrounding areas. By all accounts, their gigs were highly influential on the locals, and thankfully an Avalon gig is captured in all its glory and intensity; this group was TOGETHER, unlike the SF bands that were just learning how to play electric instruments. However, by 1968, the group was in absolute shambles, thanks to the relentless pursuit of the band by Texas police, in addition to the instability caused by massive intake of chemicals. The group were operating as psychedelic drug messengers and were deemed a menace to society, resulting in constant police presence. The group was busted numerous times, and when they could have made a big splash on the national scene, they were stuck in Texas due to Sutherland's probation.
The group had one final go in the studio after their masterpiece second album (Easter Everywhere), and the sessions were led by Stacy Sutherland. Roky Erickson was in a bad way at the time (and on the verge of being busted himself; a bust which landed him at the Rusk Maximum Security Prison for the mentally ill), but he returned to the studio to cut a few tracks, of which this ANTHEM was cut to tape.
For whatever reason, Stacy left "It's You" off of the lineup of the final Elevators LP (Bull of The Woods) which is inexplicable (unless he or the record label was hazy about allowing such a blatant drug reference go out in the chorus). This is one of the finest tracks ever cut by the band, and while they were on their way out, they showed one last gasp of the incredible spirit they shared for three preciously short years.
Long live Roky and The Elevators; true pioneers, visionaries, and flat out Texas ass kickers.
13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS - IT'S YOU