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LOVE STREET LIGHT CIRCUS FEEL GOOD MACHINE

Love Street Circus
Poster, Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine. Courtesy of Rice University. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

 LOVE STREET LIGHT CIRCUS FEEL GOOD MACHINE. Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine, also known simply as Love Street, was located on Commerce Street near Allen’s Landing at the edge of Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston. Built in the 1930s for the Sunset Coffee Company, the tile three-story structure still stands at Allen’s Landing. Shaped as an irregular pentagon due to the river, the building was used for storage throughout the 1950s. In 2008 the building was part of a redevelopment plan for Allen’s Landing.

Love Street Circus
Photograph, Picture of the exterior of Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine. Courtesy of the Univeristy of Houston Libraries. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine
Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine (1967). Courtesy of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Opened by David Adickes on June 3, 1967, Love Street quickly became a hot spot for psychedelic nightlife in Houston and remained so through the last years of the decade. Later in 1967 Cliff Carlin became the manager, and eventually owned the venue. Love Street was one of the first venues opened in Texas dedicated to the psychedelic music scene. The club provided tables or the Zonk Out (a room containing cushions with backrests) for the audiences as well as light shows during performances. Love Street hosted a number of psychedelic music groups, including the Red Krayola, the 13th Floor Elevators, Bubble Puppy, Shiva’s Headband, Fever Tree, Moving Sidewalks, and American Blues. The venue also hosted well-known musical ensembles outside the psychedelic genre, including Johnny Winter and ZZ Top. Love Street was the site of ZZ Top’s first shows in 1969.

By 1969 a portion of Love Street was owned by the International Artists label. International Artists was a Houston-based record label operating from 1965 to 1970 and had a large list of Texas psychedelic bands as well as other groups as part of their lineup. Plans were made to expand into San Antonio and Corpus Christi, however, both of these ventures were short-lived, and the original Houston Love Street closed on June 6, 1970. In 2004 the band Fall Guys recorded a song, “Love Street Light Circus Feelgood Machine,” on their album Another Place…Another Time to commemorate Love Street.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

 Love Street Light Circus Feelgood Machine, (www.faculty.missouristate.edu/d/DennisHickey/lovestreet.htm), accessed August 5, 2008. Chris Gray, “Lingering Long on Love Street” Houston Press, November 28, 2007 (blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2007/11/lingering_long_on_love_street.php), accessed August 5, 2008. Rick Koster, Texas Music (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998).

Sara Gredler

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Sara Gredler, "Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine," accessed September 21, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/xdl02.

Uploaded on June 1, 2015. Modified on February 25, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.