Sunday, November 21, 2004

Demons



I don’t really want to get too involved with the man himself. Roky Erickson had a lot of problems, and still does, but it can't take anything anyway from the music. He’s been quoted as saying that music is the only thing that’s kept him going, it was his oxygen, and that’s what makes him such an interesting to figure to someone like me. I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t know that much about his back catalogue. I suppose he must have made some below par recordings, and although he’s often focused on for his off the wall antics, his legacy is for all to see. I’m not just talking about current bands either. He’s helped to influence punk and new wave, and played with a host of bands such as the Aliens, the Resurrectionists, the Explosives, and Evil Hook. He was a great songwriter, one of the best in fact, but what a voice. It’s kind of blues, hard acid rock, mixed together with wolf-like yowls that just make this music so uniquely brilliant.

Credited with helping to bring “psychedelic” music to prominence in the sixties while fronting The 13th Floor Elevators, he later, and famously, spent some time in Rusk (a mental insitution) to avoid going to jail for possessing one joint(!); he pretended to be crazy, thinking it would spare him a prison term. After he was released he started to make music, which leant toward a far more "themed" hard rock direction. Writing lyrics often concerned with gremlins, demons, and vampires. He famously stated in one interview that he was in fact an alien. All of this has helped to generate a continuing interest in his life, but what about the music? Well, although I wouldn’t normally advocate this, but You're Gonna Miss Me: The Best of Roky Erickson is great introduction to his music. His earlier material, while probably a more attractive proposition to most, will certainly leave out an interesting period of music, and this release in particular is great at capturing this - If you're lucky enough to get hold of a copy

I thought the following the following song was kind of relevant:

Roky Erickson - Can't Be Brought Down

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