Roky Erickson Dead at 71

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Roky Erickson (Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW)
Roky Erickson (Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW)

Roky Erickson—pioneering psychedelic musician and frontman of the 1960s rock group 13th Floor Elevators—has died. He was 71 years outdated. A explanation for loss of life has not but been confirmed. “Roky Erickson, an heroic icon of modern rock & roll and one of the best friends the music ever had, died in Austin, Texas today,” his representatives wrote in a press release to Pitchfork. “Erickson never wavered from that path, and while he faced incredible challenges at different points in his life, his courage always led him on to new musical adventures, one he continued without compromise his entire life. The family asks for privacy while they deal with the loss of a son, brother, husband and father.” Read the complete assertion under.

Roky Erickson (born Roger Kynard Erickson) shaped 13th Floor Elevators together with Tommy Hall, Stacy Sutherland, Benny Thurman, and John Ike Walton in 1965 in Central Texas. Credited as one of many first psychedelic teams, 13th Floor Elevators launched one among their most enduring singles “You’re Gonna Miss Me” in 1966. The tune would later climb to No. 55 on the Billboard charts after the Houston document label International Artists re-released it. By the tip of ’66, International Artists would launch the band’s debut album, Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. The group disbanded in 1969, after Erickson was arrested for marijuana possession. He subsequently underwent therapy for psychological sickness.

Erickson launched his eponymous debut as Roky Erickson and the Aliens in 1980. He recorded a gradual stream of releases below that mantle up till 2004, whereas concurrently releasing a number of LPs below his identify alone. In 2010, Erickson launched a joint album with Okkervil River referred to as True Love Cast Out All Evil. A documentary about his life, You’re Gonna Miss Me, was launched in 2005.

Erickson is cited as a extremely influential determine amongst many up to date rock artists, and in 2008, Erickson carried out a string of comeback concerts that includes assist from fellow Texan psych band the Black Angels. In 2015, 13th Floor Elevators reunited at Austin’s Levitation competition. It was the primary time members of the unique lineup had performed collectively since 1967.

In an official assertion Erickson’s representatives stated:

Roky Erickson, an heroic icon of recent rock & roll and among the best associates the music ever had, died in Austin, Texas at this time. Born there on July 15, 1947, Erickson had a visionary zeal not often seen in 1965 when he co-founded the 13th Floor Elevators. The band’s authentic songs, many written with lyricist Tommy Hall, coupled with Erickson’s super-charged vocals and guitar sparked the psychedelic music revolution within the mid-1960s, and led to a brand new position of what rock may very well be. Erickson by no means wavered from that path, and whereas he confronted unbelievable challenges at totally different factors in his life, his braveness at all times led him on to new musical adventures, one he continued with out compromise his total life. The household asks for privateness whereas they cope with the lack of a son, brother, husband and father.

In a further assertion, Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top wrote:

Roky Erickson has moved on. Roky got here to imply many issues to many admirers and can proceed to resonate with a legacy of outstanding type, expertise, and poetic and inventive tales from past. As an extended standing good friend and follower of Roky’s wonderful performing talents and aa a guitarist and singer, I can solely relate the far reaching impression he and his mates in The Thirteenth Floor Elevators delivered to the fore with their eerily magnetic psychedelic sounds. It’s virtually unfathomable to ponder a world with out Roky Erickson. He created his personal musical galaxy and early on was an true inspiration. Even now, Roky is a supply of inventive vitality of the primary order. It’s actually a circumstance the place he continues to supply the requisite “Reverberation.” Something he predicted when he sang “You’re Gonna Miss Me”…We definitely do know now that he’s at one with the universe.