Erickson’s 1960s band, the 13th Floor Elevators, have been called the originators of psychedelic music. They were certainly the first to apply the word to disorientating, acid-warped rock, influencing the likes of Janis Joplin (who almost joined) and the Grateful Dead, and later covered by REM, Primal Scream, the Jesus and Mary Chain and even ZZ Top (whose roots also lie in Texas psychedelia). You might recognize the Elevators’ incendiary first single, You’re Gonna Miss Me, from the opening scene of High Fidelity.
More than his music, though, what Erickson became famous for was losing his mind. In 1969, he pleaded insanity over a drugs charge and spent three years in a Texas mental institution, from which he emerged somewhere south of normal. A famous interview with the NME’s Nick Kent in 1980 fixed him in the mind of rock fans as a befuddled wreck, burbling about aliens and demons. “The devil, see, he’s my friend,” he informed a bewildered Kent. – The Guardian
Remembering psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erickson (1947-2019) with a little help from our followers.
So what’s your favorite Roky Erickson / 13 Floor Elevators song?
As usual, feel free to name multiple
— The Underground Richard Branson or Whatever (@Iheartnoise) June 9, 2019
Roky Erickson & the Aliens – Two Headed Dog (picked by Brendan Halpin, Jazzwise and Vogon Laundromat)
Roky Erickson – Burn the Flames (picked by AJ Phink)
Roky Erickson – Starry Eyes / Cigarettes After Sex cover (picked by Joanne Buchanan)
Roky Erickson with Okkervil River – Be and Bring Me Home (picked by Simon Vita)
Roky Erickson & the Aliens – Bloody Hammer / Night of the Vampire / Can’t Be Brought Down / Bermuda / Creature With the Atom Brain (picked by Brendan Halpin)
Roky Erickson – I Have Always Been Here Before (picked by Sten)
Roky Erickson – You Don’t Love Me Yet (picked by Susanna)
Roky Erickson – Don’t Slander Me (picked by Neon Knight)
13th Floor Elevators – You’re Gonna Miss Me (picked by Ezra Brooks)
13th Floor Elevators – She Lives (In a Time of Her Own) (picked by Sam Wade)
13th Floor Elevators – Slip Inside This House (picked by Justin Farrar, Svenllama and Timothy Steinman)
13th Floor Elevators – Slide Machine (picked by Svenllama)
13th Floor Elevators – Fire Engine (picked by Neon Knight and The New Pollution)
13th Floor Elevators – I’ve Got Levitation (picked by The New Pollution)