Roky Erickson

Schizophrenic Singer and Native of Texas Roky Erickson Dead at 71

Entertainment Texas

Roky Erickson, psychedelic singer and American songwriter, was found dead at the age of 71 on Friday in his hometown in Texas. The cause of his death still remains unknown. He was the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the rock band The 13th Floor elevators.

His rock band included Tommy Hall, Stacy Sutherland, Benny Thurman and John Ike Walton in 1965. The band released their first album titled, “The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators” in the following year. Later, the song, “You’re gonna miss me” was re-released and it soared to number 55 on the billboard charts. In 2005, a documentary with the same name as that of the song was released.

After the band disbanded, Roky Erickson was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He was arrested for the possession of a joint in 1969 and remained in custody until 1972.

In the year 1982, he claimed that a Martian, an inhabitant of Mars, had taken control over his body. Due to this reason, he felt that he made claims of psychic assaults. However, he wrote a notarized statement disclosing that he is an alien and in hope to come clear of any international law he broke. He also asserted that soon after the statement the attacks stopped happening.

His death was confirmed by his manager Darren Hill. He provided a written statement to Billboard, which read, “[Roky] had a visionary zeal rarely seen in 1965 when he co-founded the 13th Floor Elevators. The family asks for privacy while they deal with the loss of a son, brother, husband and father.”

Mikel Erickson, brother of Roky Erickson, posted a message revealing the news of his death on Facebook. He posted a picture with his brother (Roky) and said, “My brother Roky passed away peaceably today. Please allow us time. Music and laughter forever.”

As soon as the news of the death of Roky Erickson spread, many artists like Dinosaur Jr., Spoon, Oneohtrix Point Never, Garbage, Neko Case, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Mark Lanegan, Cedric Bixler Zavala, Meredith Graves, Ryley Walker, Sean Ono Lennon, and Erickson’s late-career collaborators Okkervil River paid tribute to him on the social media.

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