Psychedelic Yesterday: Shiva's Headband
  • Psychedelic Yesterday: Shiva's Headband
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Shiva’s Headband (or Shiva's Head Band), an early Texas psychedelic rock band, formed in Austin in 1967. Original members included fiddler Spencer Perskin and his wife Susan, keyboardist Shawn Siegel, guitarists Kenny Parker and Bob Tom Reed and drummer Jerry Barnett.[1] The group was the house band at the Vulcan Gas Company, a late 1960s Austin nightclub. The band is credited with a significant role in the founding of the Armadillo World Headquarters. The band's first royalty check opened the club and hired Eddie Wilson as manager. Shiva's Headband was also the first band to perform there. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, the band played with touring acts such as Spirit, Steppenwolf, ZZ Top, Janis Joplin, Canned Heat and Steve Miller. Austin psychedelic bands contemporary to Shiva's Headband included The 13th Floor Elevators and The Conqueroo.

Shiva's Headband's Capitol Records album, Take Me To The Mountains, produced by bandleader Spencer Perskin with Fred Catero, became the first record released nationally by an Austin-based rock band. The album cover featured artwork by Jim Franklin. In 1973, the band had an onscreen performance in the film, The Thief Who Came to Dinner, a Houston-based production that starred Ryan O'Neal and Jacqueline Bisset.

In 1999, long-time bandleader Spencer Perskin was voted " Austin's Old hippie” at Eeyore's Birthday Party, an annual Austin rite of spring. In 2005, Perkins released the recording, Magic Feather, again with artwork by Jim Franklin. The band still performs in Austin, using the name Shiva's Headband Experience.

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