Dolorosa la scomparsa di Roger Kynard Erickson che ci lascia l’ultimo giorno di maggio all’età di 71 anni. Roky Erickson faro e pioniere, guida e luce della psichedelia, quella vera, pura, stordente. Una vita travagliata, piena di ombre e tante luci, quasi “avventurosa”, certamente ai confini della realtà. Una realtà che inizia quando Erickson è ancora giovanissimo nella band The Spades con la quale getterà il seme per i 13th Floor Elevators che fonda non ancora 19enne assieme a Tommy Hall. Quattro album tra il 1966 e il 1969 (un singolo leggendario, l’inclusione nella seminale raccolta ‘Nuggets’…) poi la terribile diagnosi: il musicista è affetto da schizofrenia paranoide. Disturbi mentali e allucinazioni. Il ricovero in un ospedale psichiatrico, i drammatici “trattamenti”. Successivamente gli arresti per possesso di marijuana. Gli anni degli “alieni”, il ritorno con la band Blieb Alien ben presto tramutata in Roky Erickson and the Aliens. Gli anni ’80 caratterizzati da un nuova ossessione, i furti della posta, reato per il quale viene arrestato nel 1989. In mezzo alcuni album solisti che lo portano direttamente negli anni ’90. Prima un disco come Roky Erickson and the Resurrectionists poi pian piano le collaborazioni importanti, nuova luce sulla figura di questo grande personaggio, la rivampa, il rinnovato interesse. Nel 2005 arriva infatti il documentario ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’, figura come guest nell’EP dei Mogwai ‘Batcat’, poi collabora con gli Okkervil River e i Black Angels e nel 2010, dopo ben 14 anni, pubblica il suo nuovo lavoro solista ‘True Love Cast Out All Evil’. Nel 2015 al Levitation festival reunion dei 13th Floor Elevators assieme a Tommy Hall, John Ike Walton, Ronnie Leatherman, il figlio Jegar Erickson e Fred Mitchim.
Roky Erickson, an heroic icon of modern rock & roll and one of the best friends the music ever had, died in Austin, Texas today. Born there on July 15, 1947, Erickson had a visionary zeal rarely seen in 1965 when he co-founded the 13th Floor Elevators. The band’s original songs, many written with lyricist Tommy Hall, coupled with Erickson’s super-charged vocals and guitar sparked the psychedelic music revolution in the mid-1960s, and led to a new role of what rock could be. 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.
Con GG Allin/ The Spades, 1966/ Con mamma Evelyn, 1966/ Il 70esimo compleanno, 2017/ Batman!
Bill Bentley > Roky lived in so many worlds, you couldn’t keep up with him. He lived so much, and not always on this planet
Mark Lanegan > Devastated to hear of Roky Erickson’s passing. One of the reasons I began singing. A huge inspiration and giant in the history of rock. I used to call him every day in the 80’s, he would actually pick up once every couple months and talk horror films with me. Such a loss. RIP
The Black Angels > Thank you Roky. We will miss you
Spoon > Much love to Roky Erickson – one of the greats
Sean Ono Lennon > Roky Erickson RIP
Tony Tornay > RIP Roky Erickson
Joey Castillo > Rest easy Roky
J Mascis > Lotta love to Roky
LEVITATION > We are shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Roky Erickson. Truly one of a kind. Thank you for the music and memories. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends, and everyone out there who was touched by his music.
Mike Mills > Well, fuck. R.I.P., Roky
Cedric Bixler Zavala > Thank you
#RokyErickson ! You gave us so much great music. We did not deserve you. Rest In Peace
Chuck Prophet > “People think of me as this demonic fellow. But I have the heart of a young child…. in a jar under my bed.“ – Roky Erickson
Jim DeRogatis > R.I.P. Roky Erickson, pioneering psychedelic rock genius.
Stuart Braithwaite > If you have ghosts, then you have everything.
Clinic > RIP Roky Erickson x
Okkervil River > Roky Erickson was the most beautifully unique person I’ve ever known and perhaps the most brilliant. He changed my understanding of how both music and the world work and he rekindled my faith in both. The time I got to spend with him is one of the greatest gifts I got out of music. There’ll never be another like him and we’ll all miss him forever. Love to his family and all the musicians who played with him and everyone who ever tried in a pure and unselfish way to give him a hand.
Ryley Walker > My German teacher in high school got me into 13th floor elevators. Failed the course but it was cool to to have my brain sizzled at the perfect moment in time. First record will always remind me of rolling bugler tobacco and breaking stuff cause I was bored. Aww Roky
Damian Abraham > Heartbreaking. Truly one of the great voices ever. Evil One is my favorite record and I walked down the isle with @laurentrouble to Love The Living you. Thank you Rocky for all you gave us.
Anton Newcombe > rest in peace rocky
The Asteroid No. 4 > Rest well and be free, Roky. We love you
Billy Gibbons > Roky Erickson has moved on. Roky came to mean many things to many admirers and will continue to resonate with a legacy of remarkable style, talent, and poetic and artistic tales from beyond. As a long standing friend and follower of Roky’s amazing performing abilities and aa a guitarist and singer, I can only relate the far reaching impact he and his mates in The Thirteenth Floor Elevators brought to the fore with their eerily magnetic psychedelic sounds. It’s almost unfathomable to contemplate a world without Roky Erickson. He created his own musical galaxy and early on was an true inspiration. Even now, Roky is a source of creative energy of the first order. It’s really a circumstance where he continues to provide the requisite “Reverberation.” Something he predicted when he sang “You’re Gonna Miss Me”…We certainly do know now that he’s at one with the universe.
Garbage > Roky Erickson. RIP
Neko Case > I need to go off in the woods. This fucking hurts.
Nick Oliveri > RIP Roky Erickson, true legend
QOTSA > No other artist has embodied a complex fragility, like Roky Erickson. His purity of heart & intention could not be faked, filtered, restrained, mass produced nor equaled. Even with his good looks, god given richness of voice & songwriting chops, Roky’s truth was a kaleidoscope far too terrifying for the mainstream mob to gaze into. He was, instead, hidden in plain sight. A creator of genres & scenes. A powerful example of creativity, artistry, integrity, intelligence, songwriting & lyric poetry of unflinching bravery, all without ever seeming to notice. He seemed to get long gone & moved on, in the best way. To let go of what was. To my eyes, he appeared to be consumed by bearing witness to the accumulation, intensity & frequency of the little things most folks simply overlook. His album, The Evil One, is so pure. Whether he sang about Satan, love, promises, mathematics, the beginning, the end or their inseparable dependence, you always feel his honest, unwavering belief. I believe in Roky Erickson. He told his truth. Unflinchingly. Powerfully. Horrifyingly. Sweetly. As close to perfect as any human alien could expect to get. As evidence, I look no further than title of what I’m sure is his most well known tune “You’re Gonna Miss Me”. He’s right. I do. Rest In Peace Roky. May you find the peace in the next life, you could not find in this one.
Chelsea Wolfe > on this tribute to the great Roky Erickson, 1947-2019:
I’ve been stuck in a bit of a personal cage lately, feeling like I couldn’t share things that didn’t feel highly polished.. it was starting to become a source of anxiety for me, as I have a new album I’m announcing soon, and wanted to be able to share intimate moments from the creation of the record in my home, as well as stripped down versions of the songs, but haven’t felt like any of it was “good enough.” today I got home from a long drive after hanging out with good friends until 4 in the morning, and learned that Roky had passed. he’s always been one of my favorites, and this song has been on my mind to cover for a while now, so it just seemed right: record it, share it. don’t overthink it, don’t worry about it being perfect. yea, I could do a more polished version, but this is the way it came out naturally, and I was shaking afterward, always a sign that I’ve opened myself up to something beyond myself. thank you Roky, for setting me free. <3 CW