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Pioneers

The producer, Lemond Roget, handled the booking because most musicians tended to ignore that aspect of the business and expected someone else to do it for them.  The Levitators were lucky to have such a skilled and talented manager.  Other producers such as Adler, Wexler, and Meaux were also interested in Texas area bands and scouting for new talent for the next discovery that would make everyone rich.  After signing with the record label, the Levitators released their first psychedelic album.  Lemond was planning to produce another record and asked the band to move to the hill country to write and arrange new songs over the summer.  They were inspired for writing new material and collaboration was a must because everyone contributed to the process.  New tunes were sculpted from improvisational and spontaneous jam sessions.  Artistic presentations came from a stream of consciousness state of mind.  At live performances, the audience required and even encouraged the band to expose their raw nerve of natural emotion so that the fans could achieve a familiarity. This vulnerability allowed them to identify with each individual musician's performance.  The Levitators weren't afraid to take chances.  Performing at this level of transparency took its toll and left the band members emotionally drained in a way that was shared by artists of every genre.  This effort required them to be "sin-eaters" like musicians of yore such as Sam Hopkins, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis .  They filled themselves from the well of human emotion with both good and evil then transformed and projected those emotions through the art form as a vehicle.  This was an interpretation and was by no means and in no way a mockery of mankind's plight.  The performance was rooted in sincere compassion because in the long run, that which resulted from insincerity and egotism would never stand the test of time and would be quickly forgotten.  If not forgotten then it would certainly be ultimately resented by posterity.  The intentions of the Levitators as true artists were compassionate and understanding from an empathetic frame of mind.  They would never take advantage of their fame as an opportunity to misguide or in such a way that would cause humiliation or disgrace.

Higher worlds that you uncover

Light the path you want to roam

You compare there and discover

You won't need a shell of foam

The band's art form never used slander or shock to destroy anyone's character.  At this point, all that was wanted was a good jam session and it was all that really mattered.  The band had already released one psychedelic album and the record company wanted to release a second one.  Lemond planned for the band to move from Houston to a rock cabin built by German pioneers in the hill country of west Texas for the following summer to write, compose, and arrange songs for the project. 

Back on the road again in the sky blue Galaxy Ford 500, Rawley and Pepper headed westward toward the hill country.  Rawley kept a look out for the turn that would take them to the sheep ranch where the band was to conceive a new work of art that the record company and the fans eagerly awaited.  There it was, the gravel road with the aluminum gate across the cow grate which was a series of parallel pipes crossing the road buried six inches apart preventing the livestock from escaping in case someone forgot to close the gate behind them.  Rawley stopped, got out, opened the gate, drove through it, got out again, closed the gate, and then drove on to the next gate.  This repetitious routine went on for miles until finally Rawley spotted the old stone hunting cabin.  He followed the gravel ranch road along the ridge until he reached the little house but no one was in sight.  The door was open so he unloaded his gear and began stocking the pantry with some canned goods, flour, dry beans, salt, honey, and a few other staple food items he had purchased at the general store in town.  He found a stoneware bowl and whipped up some batter for short bread.  The rock cabin was built in the mid-19th century near a natural spring but there was no running water inside of the cabin so Rawley went out back to pump the water into a pail.  Another small bunkhouse sat further down the road and was used by the locals during hunting season but it looked like a good place for Rawley to set up his drum kit for practice.  Lemond promised that he would send an advance on royalties to help them with living expenses over the summer.  He would come to listen to the material that the band had written later in the summer.  That was the reason why Rawley had signed the contract and that was why he was in the hill country.  He was determined to become a famous musician even if it meant that he would be considered a psychedelic freak and alienated from the mainstream establishment for non-conformity. Soon, the rest of the band arrived along with the roadies.  They got settled into the rock cabin and began to put the new material together over the next few months

There was a little hill in back of the cabin with a rock at the top where Rawley had chiseled his name.  From this vantage point he could see the entire valley.  As he sat on the rock, he noticed a cloud of dust over the next ridge.  Flashes of sun light reflected from the chrome of oncoming vehicles as they made their way down the gravel road from the main highway.  Two cars approached speedily toward the cabin and appeared to be white Crown Victorias with star insignias on the doors.  Rawley realized as they drew closer that it was the Texas Rangers.  The owners of the cabin were to accept delivery of pressed kilo bricks of marijuana from Mexico and to store it until it was picked up by local dealers.  Luckily, the next shipment was not due until the next week.  The Department of Public Safety surrounded the cabin as their vehicles spun around to a stop and Rawley watched from the rock outcrop view.  The Rangers swung open the car doors and using them as shields knelt down behind them with their weapons drawn and aimed at the cabin.  Two of them entered the cabin and quickly returned with David and Escalante, the roadies, in tow with their hands cuffed behind their heads.  At this point, Rawley figured that he had better make tracks and bolted in the opposite direction.  The enforcers were successful in rounding up the roadies who coincidently and unfortunately happened to be in the cabin at that time.  The cops threw them into their police cruisers.  This is the time when Rawley made his escape by running as fast as he could.  He thought to himself, "Feet don't fail me now."  The big show was over and Rawley had to think about his own ass.  Incarceration was not in his plans for the future.  He had only slipped into his sandles for a visit to the rock retreat so the rough ground was difficult terrain to traverse.  The sharp jagged gravel beneath his feet cut through his thin leather soles as he pounded forward, occasionally skinning his knees and palms as he tried to catch himself to keep from falling.  He half-way ran and half-way stumbled his way across the hills through the sage brush and prickly pear cactus tripping about every other step.  He ran up onto a rat faced armadillo that scampered away with its two little babies.  Rawley saw two turkey vultures circling above him.  The black winged scavengers circled slowly sensing Rawley's distress and descended so close to him that he could have touched them.  He closed his eyes in fear and amazement, terrified by their five foot wing spans, yellow hooked beaks, and razor sharp claws.