13th Floor Elevators, active from 1965 – 1969, were the seminal psychedelic rock band, and the first band to describe their own music as “psychedelic”. They had a minor hit with “You’re Gonna Miss Me” in 1966, but their influence was much greater than this single hit would suggest.
Tommy Hall wrote their beautiful lyrics – for example, from Dust:
Dust from your skin
Must trust, when it scatters
Only love matters
It’s been overjoyed
Scents and perfumes
Whence, since your higher fragrance
Incense and never destroy
… while Roky Erickson’s vocals and stage presence were critical to their sound. A plethora of artists claim the Elevators as an important influence, including former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins, who allegedly paid for a full set of dentures for Roky.
“You’re Gonna Miss Me” – 13th Floor Elevators