Roky Erickson, psychedelic music pioneer, RIP

Originally published at:


I wish I had known of these guys much earlier in my life.
I have to thank MrsTobinL for introducing me when she started deep diving into garage and psych some 15 years ago now.


Yep… I miss him already.


I fed him a couple of times in Austin at Mad Dog & Beans during one of his rough patches in the late 1980s. Loved Mad Dogs cuz they’d serve Shiner Bock to minors knowing that The Fuzz would never ask for it. Loved Roky cuz my mother listened to the elevators throughout my childhood.

I just did a google on Mad Dogs cuz of nostalgia and it seems it is now an upscale texmex chain… definitely not the same joint next to inner sanctum that got knocked down for “progress”.


Note: BBS links are not showing for me on articles on mobile. Force desktop mode and they come back.



There’s a movie.
D’ya see the movie?


“Easter Everywhere” was the first “psych” LP I bought as a teenager back in the 80’s, lyrically it still blows my mind, although this is probably my favorite Elevators song (and appropriate for the news):


Was at party in east Austin last night when I heard. The guy who told me mentioned his time spent with Roky.

He said that Roky’s confinement in the state mental hospital (in Austin), where electroshock (now called “electroconvulsive”) therapy was routinely applied to hospital inmates, had done irreparable harm to the man. In the moment, I did not feel it appropriate to ask for citations. He spoke of Roky’s extremely gentle demeanor, and notable capacity for joy.

At the time of Roky’s treatment, it was a technique or therapy still in its relative infancy, and just how much Roky suffered to undergo this treatment is not known to me. My sense is that, like a lot of American medical practices in the '60s and '70s, it was just a slight step above barbaric.

This approach to treating some forms of mental illness is not without its defenders:

Rest in Peace, Roky Erickson, and thank you for all you gave us.

Yes, we’re gonna miss you alright.

ETA: grammar


I salute the 13th Floor Elevators for their use of the electric jug.


I do know someone who some form of electroshock therapy in recent years. It was almost a last resort and they thought it helped, but they were also very happy to drop it when they finally found a drug that was effective without debilitating side effects.

They’re actually doing very well now.


I liked solo Roky, but the electric jug was my initial stumbling block to enjoying the Elevators! A wiser friend advised, “Man, you just have to accept the electric jug. It’s a thing. It’s gonna be there on every song.” He was right.


Hell, one time they comped me a beer (I was still 20). I don’t remember seeing any shows there, though. (I think they might have moved by the time I came along.)

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With all due respect, FTFY. Just grind the edges off so nothing pokes out past the norms. Take care that you don’t lose any of the important bits, but if you do . . . you do.

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My friends and I were all heads too.
Psst, that’s what we called it back then.


Saw Roky Erickson perform in New York in 2010 by recommendation of a musician who was a part of our travel group. I wouldn’t have known about his music if it weren’t for her. There was a Finnish Metal band that I met outside the concert who flew out just to see him perform.
Seeing Stand for the Fire Demon Live still cuts real deep.
Been channeling the dark arts ever since.

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they didn’t host shows, just a burger/dog hut. Roky simply seemed to like sitting at the picnic tables.

Ah, I totally misread your earlier post…

Good on ye!

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He’s the only person I ever asked for an autograph. So glad I forced myself to step forward and tell him how much his music meant to me.

p.s. he was at a table signing autographs - I didn’t accost him randomly.


Heh, my wife asked Bobby Flay for an autograph because he’s an asshole.


Ah shit.

I just ran into him randomly a few weeks ago, after missing him playing a gig.

Seemed like in addition to being a great and somewhat troubled artist, he was a great guy.