Psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erickson has passed awat at the age of 71.
Best known as the frontman of The 13th Floor Elevators, who released their seminal debut The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators in 1966, the Austin, Texas-born singer-songwriter maintained a long and brilliant—albeit sporadic—career through the years.
A tender but troubled soul, his hard-fought life centered around a long struggle of drug abuse and schizophrenia, chronicled in the 2005 documentary, You’re Gonna Miss Me.
Despite dark periods of institutionalization and seclusion, Roky Erickson managed to release albums in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s, which included classics like Roky Erickson and the Aliens (1980), The Evil One (1981) and Don’t Slander Me (1986). His final album, 2010’s True Love Cast No Evil, was recorded with Okkervil River.
Rest easy, Roky. We already miss you.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.