Gathering of Promises, A

Gathering of Promises, A

The Battle for Texas's Psychedelic Music, from The 13th Floor Elevators to The Black Angels and Beyond

The neglected story of how Texan musicians pioneered and explored psychedelic rock, and the too-high price they often paid.


A Gathering of Promises is a history of acid rock and psychedelic music in and from the state of Texas, focusing largely on its mid-1960s origins with the 13th Floor Elevators and contemporaries such as the Golden Dawn, the Red Crayola and Bubble Puppy, and following its development to the present day and the popularity of the annual Austin Psych Fest.
Grounded in a strong social, cultural and historical context, the book asks how Texas produced some of the most extreme and influential psych of any era despite a prevailing social ethos of Christian conservatism and the strictest drug laws of any American state. It looks at how this environment shaped and affected the music, alongside the Texan frontier spirit and its championing of expansion, freedom and individualism.


... masterful, thoroughly wrought, vivid and exciting to read.The writing is both deep and wide. There is... much truth and insight about our lives. You are a very fine writer indeed. ~ Clementine Hall (13th Floor Elevators)

Congratulations on putting together the most accurate, comprehensive account of those times that I have ever encountered. Great job. I want to add that you have provided a very insightful review of my lyrics. Thanks for taking time to give the songs a sincere, meaningful interpretation. ~ George Kinney (The Golden Dawn)

Ben Graham
Ben Graham Ben Graham is a writer, poet and music journalist based in Brighton, contributing regularly to the Quietus website and other publications in...
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