Tommy Hall

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Tommy Hall (born September 15, 1943) is an American musician and founding member of the band 13th Floor Elevators.

  • "I never considered myself a musician and still don't. I was real interested, however, in introducing people to ideas and insights I was gaining through my use of LSD. Everything I wrote was inspired through my taking LSD. I invented the electric jug totally out of my desire to find a place onstage with this new group, so I could be a part of it, and so I could communicate my new ideas through the lyrics I wanted to write."
  • "LSD provided us with the opportunity for a more truthful understanding of the universe, but most of the hippies missed it. It's a lot of work to accomplish this understanding. Hippies misused it as a recreational drug. It's not a recreational drug. They did a lot of good things, wanting to make changes in society and bringing new insights and ideas into discussion, but the use of drugs as recreation led to their use of other street drugs like speed and heroin, which ruined many lives. There was no distinction made of that type of drug activity from the proper use of psychedelics. Most people got caught up with illusions, failing to see truth provided by the psychedelic experiences. You must look past the pyramid, into its shadow, to find the truth." --
  • "Since Aristotle, man has organized his knowledge vertically in separate and unrelated groups -- Science, Religion, Sex, Relaxation, Work etc. The main emphasis in his language, his system of storing knowledge, has been on the identification of objects rather than on the relationships between objects. He is now forced to use his tools of reasoning separately and for one situation at a time. Had man been able to see past this hypnotic way of thinking, to distrust it (as did Einstein), and to resystematize his knowledge so that it would all be related horizontally, he would now enjoy the perfect sanity which comes from being able to deal with his life in its entirety. Recently, it has become possible for man to chemically alter his mental state and thus alter his point of view (that is, his own basic relation with the outside world which determines how he stores his information). He can restructure his thinking and change his language so that his thoughts bear more relation to his life and his problems, therefore approaching them more sanely. It is this quest for pure sanity that forms the basis of the songs on this album." -- liner notes on the album "The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators"
  • "When he was playing with the Elevators, Hall made it a rule to drop acid every time someone picked up an instrument. From all reports, he didn't stop dosing regularly until very recently, when he lost his LSD connection and had to stick with pot. Hall says he's holding a bag of mushrooms at his apartment, a one-room efficiency in a sketchy Tenderloin residential hotel. He's saving that stash for the final breakthrough on his current project, a book revealing divine patterns in the solar system he's been working out in his head for years." --
  • One of Hall's initial experiences was profoundly negative. He was given the drug as part of a study at the UT lab, where he freaked out about all the scientists testing his paranoia levels. Hall realized then that chemicals have a valuable effect on the brain, but he was determined to explore LSD in more welcoming environments. This involved turning on the people closest to him, including his mother. (Perky was apparently ecstatic on acid, playing a Mozart record and repeating that she'd never realized the music had "all those things going on in it.") --