Roky Erickson, legendary psychedelic musician from Texas, dies at 71

Roky Erickson, legendary psychedelic musician from Texas, dies at 71

Roky Erickson who was a former singer in a Texas-based Psychedelic rock band has passed away at the age of 71. On Friday, The 13th Floor Elevators singer's brother, Sumner Erickson, told the Austin American-Statesman, "The world lost a huge light and an incredible soul. It wasn’t the easiest life, but he’s free of all that now.”

According to Variety, Roky's brother Mikel confirmed the news to Bill Bentley who produced the all-star Erickson tribute album “Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye,” in 1990. In an interview with Variety, Bentley revealed, "Roky lived in so many worlds, you couldn’t keep up with him. He lived so much, and not always on this planet.”

Roky Erickson performs live on stage during the third day of the Wireless Festival at Hyde Park in London, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

Roger Kynard Erickson was born in 1947 in Austin. Erickson and his band rose to fame in the 1960s which was the dawn of the psychedelic era. Sadly, their success was short-lived due to Erickson's struggles with schizophrenia and drugs. The band's 'You're Gonna Miss Me' was the song used in the opening scene of the 2000 film version of Nick Hornby's 'High Fidelity' which starred John Cusack.

A 2005 documentary by Keven McAlester titled 'You're Gonna Miss Me' featured Erickson's rise, battle with drugs that included LSD and his struggles with schizophrenia which landed him in hospitals. The documentary also traced Erickson's time as a recluse before he returned to making music. 

'You're Gonna Miss Me' was nominated in 2007 for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. In 2015, for the first time since they broke up in 1969, The 13th Floor Elevators reunited including Erickson, Tommy Hall, John Ike Walton, and Ronnie Leatherman. They were accompanied by Erickson’s son Jegar Erickson, and guitarist Fred Mitchim. 


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