Psychedelic rock musician Roky Erickson dies at age 71

News 04/06/2019

Roky Erickson, frontman of the '60s psychedelic rock pioneers, 13th Floor Elevators, has recently passed away at the age of 71.

His family confirmed the news last Friday and has not given a cause of death yet.

His brother, Mikel Erickson wrote on Facebook, "My brother Roky passed away peaceably today. Please allow us time. Music and laughter forever".

Erickson was once arrested in 1969 for possession of marijuana and spent three years in a prison hospital for the criminally insane where he underwent electric shock therapy from which his mates say he never recovered. He had struggled with mental health problems for years afterwards and required to have a legal guardian.

However, he continued to make music as much as his health allowed him, releasing over 18 studio albums with his band and as a solo artist.

ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons said, "Roky came to mean many things to many admirers and will continue to resonate with a legacy of remarkable style, talent, and poetic and artistic tales from beyond. As a long-standing friend and follower of Roky's amazing performing abilities and as a guitarist and singer, I can only relate the far-reaching impact he and his mates in the 13th Floor Elevators brought to the fore with their eerily magnetic psychedelic sounds. It's almost unfathomable to contemplate a world without Roky Erickson. He created his own musical galaxy and early on was a true inspiration. Even now, Roky is a source of creative energy of the first order. It's really a circumstance where he continues to provide the requisite 'Reverberation.' Something he predicted when he sang 'You're Gonna Miss Me' — we certainly do now that he's at one with the universe."