13th Floor Elevators' founder Roky Erickson was once asked by a friend to define psychedelic music. Invoking the image on the American one dollar bill, he famously replied "It's where the pyramid meets the eye, man."

Houston may not have had Woodstock or Haight Ashbury but hippies and flower power flourished in the late 60's, even though it was spread out like the rest of Houston. If you visited areas like Westbury Square, Allen's Landing and the Montrose area you would find plenty of record shops, waterbed shops and head shops. Baby-boomers were coming of age. Houston had more then it's share of "freaks" and "stoners" and they all had a big appetite for music.


"If you can remember the '60s, then you weren't there." - unknown

California surfing music, the British invasion, underground music; all helped define the Houston music scene in the 60's. The COLISEUM and the MUSIC HALL were the main venues for rock superstars. Clubs like LOVE STREET LIGHT CIRCUS and THE CATACOMBS showcased up and coming superstars and local musicians. Radio stations KAUM and PACIFICA was where you kept up with all the latest music. A few groups with local connections made it big, including the 13th Floor Elevators, Fever Tree, Moving Sidewalks, The Clique and the Bubble Puppy. Saturnalia, Big Sweet and Josefus were very popular local bands.
Local radio stations would sponsor numerous "Battle of the Band's" events for local bands and you would get to see some of your best friends on stage rocking out.


I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me.- Hunter S. Thompson

The 60's blended right in to the early 70's. For a brief while everything was still about peace and love. Houston was a place a "hippie" could run for mayor and the music scene was hotter then ever. But as the 70's wore on, things inevitably changed. Westbury square ran off all the "freaks", which also ran off all it's business. Montrose was slowly becoming a place you didn't want to venture out into the night alone. We were starting to see the decline of the counter culture.

Sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug.
- Mark Knopfler.

Rock music began to shift from psychedelia to more heavy metal. LOVE STREET and the CATACOMBS faded away to be replaced by LIBERTY HALL. The COLISEUM was showing it's age and the MUSIC HALL was getting to small, so more groups started playing at the newly constructed HOFHEINZ PAVILION and The SUMMIT. ZZ Top became the most popular band from Houston. KLOL became the new album-oriented rock station. Of course, nothing ruined music more then the introduction of disco in the late 70's. Long hair and jeans were replaced by pompous flamboyant polyester wearing pricks that wouldn't know real music if it bit them in the ass. Despite all this some of the best rock acts in the world came to Houston in the 70's.


The 80's?


The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
Timbuk 3

I'm not going to say the 80's did not offer us anything new musically but certainly not the quantity of the 70's or the quality of the 60's. It did give us Devo and the Ramones but we had to suffer through Madonna and Def Leppard . New wave and alternative rock had it's moments but the arrival of rap music would signify the end of real musical talent. It was harder to find decent live music in the city as way to many clubs became (shudder) "dance clubs". It did give us the mullet though.