Tommy Hall (musician)

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Tommy Hall (born September 21, 1943) is an electric jug player from Texas. He was a founding member of the American psychedelic rock band The 13th Floor Elevators.[1][2]

Tommy Hall
Born (1943-09-21) September 21, 1943 (age 77)
Memphis, Tennessee
Associated actsThe 13th Floor Elevators

Early lifeEdit

Hall was born in Memphis, Tennessee to Dr. Thomas James Hall and Margaret "Perky" Perkins, a nurse. Starting in 1961, he studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, and also discovered psychedelic drugs such as LSD, which would form a major part of his philosophy. In Austin, he also met his future wife and occasional Elevators songwriter Clementine Hall (nee Tausch), who he married in 1964. They divorced in 1973.[2]

Musical careerEdit

A special aspect of The Elevators' sound came from Tommy Hall's innovative electric jug. The jug, a crock-jug with a microphone held up to it while it was being blown, sounded somewhat like a cross between a Minimoog and cuica drum. In contrast to traditional musical jug technique, Hall did not blow into the jug to produce a tuba-like sound. Instead, he vocalized musical runs into the mouth of the jug, using the jug to create echo and distortion of his voice. When playing live, he held the microphone up to the mouth of the jug, but when recording the Easter Everywhere album, the recording engineer placed a microphone inside the jug to enhance the sound.

Personal lifeEdit

Hall currently lives in downtown San Francisco.[3][4] In the 1980s, he was rumored to be the true identity of Texas outsider musician Jandek,[5] but this has since been disproved.[citation needed] He became a devout follower of Scientology in the 1970s.[6] He is a lifelong Republican.[2] He has told interviewers that he is no longer interested in music or thinks of himself as a musician, and that "I lost my jug a long time ago."[7]


  1. ^ Trybyszewski, Joe (August 13, 2004). "Where the Pyramid Meets the High". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Maerz, Jennifer (March 4, 2009). "Ex-13th Floor Elevator Tommy Hall Is Still Psychedelic". Houston Press. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  3. ^ Uhelszki, Jaan (June 3, 2019). "The 13th Floor Elevators: "We're raising hell now!"". Uncut. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  4. ^ Trybyszewski, Joe (August 13, 2004). "Where the Pyramid Meets the High". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
  5. ^ "The 10 Most Interesting Musicians of the Last 5 Years: Jandek". Spin. April 1990. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  6. ^ David McGowan (March 19, 2014). Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart Of The Hippie Dream. SCB Distributors. pp. 43–. ISBN 978-1-909394-13-1.
  7. ^ Mark Brend (2005). Strange Sounds: Offbeat Instruments and Sonic Experiments in Pop. Backbeat. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-0-87930-855-1.