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Two Headed Dog
by Roky Erickson & The Aliens
FAST-TRACK: Roky Erickson (1947 to 2019) was an American 'rock' singer/songwriter. Roger Kynard Erickson was born on July 15th 1947 in Austin, Texas, USA. He had been interested in music from his youth (he played piano from about 5 years old and took up the guitar at 10). After attending school in Austin, he dropped out of Travis High School in 1965 one month before his supposed graduation (after refusing to cut his hair to the school dress code length). His first group of any notability was 'The Spades', who scored an early regional hit with his self-penned "We Sell Soul". He then became frontman and singer for the 'psychedelic rock' band 'The 13th Floor Elevators', but in 1969 was arrested for possession of marijuana. Rather than be imprisoned, he instead claimed insanity and was consequently sent to a mental institution where he was subjected to such extreme treatments as electric shocks and psychiatric drugs. He was released from the hospital in 1972, but was still heavily affected by the treatment. Two years later in 1974, he created a new band initially called 'Bleib Alien' ('Bleib' was thought to be simply an anagram of the word 'Bible'). Their new 'heavy metal' sound replaced the 'psychedelic' one developed by 'The 13th Floor Elevators' - his songs were now largely populated by lyrics concerning old sci-fi and horror movies. After renaming the band 'Roky Erickson & The Aliens', he and Stu Cook (previously of 'Creedence Clearwater Revival') began performing these new songs in 1979, with their first album "The Evil One" coming out in 1981 (today's track comes from that LP). Often said to be the best album of his entire career, its lyrics were filled with stories about demons and other horror creatures. By 2005 however, due to his continuing unstable state of mind, his brother Sumner had become his guardian and was able to oversee more effective medication and other treatment for him - this led to his career being refreshed. That year saw a documentary film about his life released - called "You're Gonna Miss Me", it was made by director Keven McAlester and screened at the 2005 SXSW Film Festival. In September of the same year, he performed his first full-length concert for 20 years at the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. In 2007 he played his first ever gigs in New York City, and made a debut performance in England to a capacity audience at the Royal Festival Hall, London, before continuing to play across Europe. He returned to the stage in 2008 to perform songs from 'The 13th Floor Elevators' back-catalogue which had not been heard 'live' in decades, backed by fellow Austin musicians 'The Black Angels'. In 2010, a brand new album of fresh compositions was released; called "True Love Cast Out All Evil", it featured the group 'Okkervil River' as his backing, and was released by the 'ANTI-' label in America (and by 'Chemikal Underground' in Europe). In March 2012, he toured New Zealand for the first time, as well as playing sold-out Australian side shows in Sydney and Melbourne. He re-united 'The 13th Floor Elevators' at the Levitation Festival in Austin on May 10th 2015, with all his original bandmates (Tommy Hall, John Ike Walton and Ronnie Leatherman) taking part (plus his own son Jegar). Roky Erickson died at his home in Austin on May 31st 2019, aged 71. http://variety.com/2019/music/news/roky-erickson-legendary-psychedelic-musician-dies-at-71-1203230465/amp/
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roky_Erickson - http://www.eventim.se/roky-erickson-biografi.html
Posted: 1st June 2019
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† REST IN PEACE † ✚
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace ✚", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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