Note: This is the fourthinstallment in my series about heady, cannabis-friendly music, drawn from the clips I’ve posted on Swedish Flying Saucer’s Instagram feed.
16. Max Frost & The Troopers – The Shape of Things to Come (1968)
Max Frost & The Troopers’ “The Shape of Things to Come” is a fierce 1960s anthem by the fictional band at the center of American International Pictures’ 1968 teen rebellion film Wild in the Streets. The shock-cinema spectacle tells the story of Max Frost, an idealistic rock and roll lead singer who becomes involved in politics until all turns to chaos when the band’s fanatic followers take to the streets.
The 13th Floor Elevators’ inception narrative is anything but immaculate. The group reconstituted the best of two pre-existing Texas bands: The Spades, featuring front man, Roky Erickson, and The Lingsmen, including Stacy Sutherland on guitar, John Ike Walton on drums, and Benny Thurman on bass. The Spades were a typical 1964 post-Beatles/Stones/Kinks Austin garage band holding “residency at Austin’s Jade Room club” (scarletdukes). The group’s single, released the following year, featured the original version of “You’re Gonna Miss Me” (and an early version of the Elevators’ “Don’t Fall Down”, called “We Sell Soul”). The Lingsmen were not of the Austin scene and were not a recording band. They were “a jug-oriented club band” hailing from a small West-Central Texas rural enclave called Kerrville, about 100 miles from Austin (scarletdukes). The future 13th Floor Elevators would later retreat to this hill country refuge whenever Austin “was no longer regarded as a safe haven” for their illicit activities (Eye Mind, 215).