Houston 101: The Brief, Groovy Life Of The Love Street Light Circus & Feelgood Machine

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The Sixties. A time when you could open a club called the Love Street Light Circus & Feelgood Machine. Unironically, too!

I mean, look at that picture. It looks like it's from a very bad Hollywood movie -- you can almost hear the lame attempt at psychedelic rock, the wavy light show, the tortured hippie-speak -- and yet it is real. People actually did this.

It was the epitome of being far out, man.
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For three years, this club in a dilapidated warehouse played host to groups like the 13th Floor Elevators, Bubble Puppy and even Johnny Winter. It is believed that at some point, the audience (and perhaps even the performers) ingested drugs of some kind.

The club was on the third floor of the building -- bands (or their roadies) had to lug their gear up -- and featured the standard blacklights, posters and other groovy stuff. Those chair/sofa things in the picture were in what was called the "Zonk-Out" section of the room.

It was pretty much the brainchild of David Adickes, the man who has since gone on to give us giant sculptures of the heads of presidents, which probably makes sense.

Local duo The Fall Guys, who used to play there back in the day, wrote a song about it recently:

Hangin' out at Allen's Landing
All the Hippies on the grass
Cosmic visions in the night
Voyages of Peace and Light
We were tripping, flying Eight Miles High
We were looking through kaleidoscope eyes
Three floors above
Music is love
Down at Love Street
Light Circus Feel Good Machine

The building remains -- near where White Oak and Buffalo bayous meet -- but it's empty. (Painted a nice green, for some reason.) The name lives on, though, in the non-profit group called the Love Street Light Circus, which puts on shows to raise money for children's charities.


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