29 May 2007

Roky Erickson - White Faces and Two Headed Dog

White Faces - from 1980

Two Headed Dog - performed live 2007

Roger Kynard (Roky) Erickson is another unsung musician I love. He made his name with the 13th Floor Elevators in the 60s but disappeared for several years - a misguided plea of insanity to avoid a jail sentence for possession of a single joint landed him in a psychiatric hospital. Released in 1973 he formed a new band, the aliens releasing horror film influenced records (the two videos above reflect this period) which found him a cult following but little success.

Roky's life has been a tale of instability and exploitation. Happily, since 2001, his brother Sumner Erickson (a classical musician) has had custody of of him and has set up a trust to help finance his care. Lawyers are now trying to sort out the legal red tape that prevented Roky from being paid paid royalties in the past. Even better, he has started to perform live again and will be playing London shortly. I will have to see if there are tickets for this concert.

Roky's official site

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