A few months back, Light In The Attic reissued a series of Roky Erickson solo LPs that, for quite some time, rarely left the vicinity of our listening station. While Roky is well-known for his role as a core member of the 13th Floor Elevators and a pioneer of Texas psychedelic rock, the man’s solo cannon is a bit more mysterious.
See, Roky was arrested for the possession of a lone joint in ’69, to which he pleaded insanity in order to avoid a prison term. A three-and-a-half year stint in the state’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane followed, where he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, subjected to extensive electroshock therapy, Thorazine, and various other FDA-approved psychoactive “treatments.”
In 1973, Roky was released from captivity, although he came out a very different person. Instead of the psychedelic fueled music of The Elevators, Roky turned to horror films for inspiration, as he returned with a new band, The Aliens, penning songs like “Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer),” “Don’t Shake Me Lucifer,” and “I Walked with a Zombie.” To add to his troubles, managers continually took advantage of his instability and drew him into a series of unfair publishing contracts that resulted in a number of unauthorized releases from which he earned not a cent. Eventually, in 1982, Roky signed a legal affidavit declaring that a Martian had taken residence in his body, and gradually disappeared from music all together. However, in recent years Roky has re-emerged on the scene, backed by bands including The Black Angels and the Night Beats while appearing at festivals across the country including FYF and Austin Psych Fest.
On February 11, you can witness the legend live in concert when Roky Erickson and The Black Angels make their way through Toronto. We happen have a couple pairs of tickets to give away, which you can enter to win by simply commenting below with the title of your favorite Roky Erickson solo tune. We’ll pick a winner by Friday afternoon.