Tommy Hall of the 13th Floor Elevators found

click to more Tommy Hallfrom: Timothy Leary 03-05-16 14:39

the quest for pure information

In 2001, an English label had rerelased some of the 13th Floor Elevators' music, and Houston music lawyer Al Staehely was dispatched to find Hall. "We had to work out an arrangement with the other members of the band to up the royalty rate," he says, "and he also had some money that was due him." Staehely had to hire a private detective to find Hall, who was discovered living in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. "I don't know what you'd call the place he was living in -- a flophouse or whatever -- but it's a place where there's somebody sitting behind glass in the lobby," Staehely says. "Tommy was expecting me and the investigator -- I had called him to tell him we were coming. So we go up to his room. It was literally one room, there was a hotplate, and he had some posters up there that looked like they had been there since the '60s. I can't remember what they were of.... There were cobwebs everywhere, serious cobwebs all over the ceiling. You could tell he was still into music because there was tons of cassettes all over the place. No CDs -- but a lot of cassettes. "So I sat down on the couch. There were roaches running all over the place and from time to time a roach would crawl across the coffee table. Without missing a beat in the conversation he would reach over with his finger and kinda squish it. No apologies -- just sort of like that was the normal thing. But he couldn't have been nicer. I had a lot of questions for him -- who played on what, we wanted to make sure we had all the credits right. His memory was really good. You'd ask him real specific questions and he'd go into detail about it, but invariably he would float off to this spacy metaphysical stuff until you'd ask him another direct question and then that would bring him back and then he would float off again in another direction."After a few hours, they called it a day. "We had some business that we couldn't get to until the end of the week, and I asked if I could come back on Friday to finish up," Staehely says. "And he said that it would have to wait until Monday. 'I can't do anything on Friday,' he said, and I asked why. He said, 'Friday's the day I drop.' And I said, 'What do you mean -- do you mean acid?' And he said, 'Yeah, I'm still doing a lot of work. I drop on Friday and it takes me the rest of the weekend to recover.' He sees it as work, he sees it as helping him work through all this stuff he's trying to figure out about the universe."The quest for pure sanity continues.



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