Chicago - Oct. 19, 2019
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Remembering Roky Erickson

"Roky Erickson, one of the most enduring and adventurous exponents of American psychedelic rock, has died at the age of 71," the Guardian reports.

"Erickson was the frontman of the 13th Floor Elevators, a psych-rock band from Austin, Texas, where he grew up. Their rollicking debut single, 'You're Gonna Miss Me,' included on the Nuggets compilation that defines 1960s garage rock, remains one of the most celebrated songs from that scene - R.E.M.'s Peter Buck once described it as 'Louie Louie, sideways.' It reached No. 55 in the U.S. charts and prompted a TV appearance on American Bandstand; Janis Joplin at one point considered joining the band."

Roky made these pages a few times over the years, and was celebrated by local rock critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. Let's take a look.

1. Roky's Revival.

"Roky Erickson turned 60 this month, and, really, that's something of a miracle right there," our very own Don Jacobson wrote in this 2007 post.

"Not only did he manage to survive the acid-drenched late '60s San Francisco psychedelic rock scene, where he was considered something of a magic child in a culture where such prodigies were frequently worshipped to death, but also the long, lonely years that followed in which he coped as best he could with the ravages of mental illness under the misinformed and smothering guardianship of his wacky mother back home in Austin, Texas. That he is now seemingly fully recovered from his 'schizophrenia' (a disputed diagnosis) - free even of anti-psychotic drugs - and has made a triumphant return to the rock 'n' roll stage is a story that has few equals even in the excess-stained annals of music lore."

Go read the rest.

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2. At Wicker Park Fest in 2013.

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3. At Beat Kitchen in 2014.

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4. Greg Kot, 2006: Roky Erickson Documentary Tells Of A Mind Coming Undone.

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5. Jim DeRogatis's Favorite Roky Erickson Songs About Monsters.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on June 3, 2019


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