Pioneering psychedelic rocker Roky Erickson dies at 71


A 1990 tribute album to Erickson, “Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye,” attracted the likes of R.E.M., T-Bone Burnett, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Julian Cope, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Primal Scream and ZZ Top. Fans included everyone from Lenny Kaye and the Swedish metal group Ghost — who covered his “If You Have Ghosts” — to ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. Erickson’s death on Friday was announced by his brother, Mikel Erickson, on Facebook and confirmed by his agent, Dave Kaplan. Advertising

“It’s almost unfathomable to contemplate a world without Roky Erickson. After the trippy 13th Floor Elevators dissolved in the face of drug arrests and instability, Erickson in the early ’70s entered an insanity plea to a marijuana possession charge and ended up spending some time in an institution. Advertising

Erickson’s sinuous lead guitar and wailing vocals didn’t turn him into a chart topper, but they cemented his role as a musician’s musician. He created his own musical galaxy and early on was a true inspiration,” Gibbons said in a statement. A short-lived effort to reunite the Elevators followed. Erickson put out a book of poetry — Openers — and continued making music, including the songs “Two Headed Dog” and the LP “The Evil One.”
In 1986, he released the album “Don’t Slander Me,” and a 2005 documentary by Keven McAlester about him was called “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” His later albums include the mid-1990s effort, “All That May Do My Rhyme,” and a 2010 collaboration with Okkervil River, “True Love Cast Out All Evil.”

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Comment(s) The cause and location of death were not revealed.