Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Have you ever known anyone who's done a lot of acid? I have, and it's not pretty what it will do to a person. One friend, who got straight A's in junior high, started with weed, moved onto acid before finishing high school, and the last time I saw him, he was excited that he was moved up to fry cook at a fast food restaurant, after ten plus years of folding boxes at the end of the counter. Another friend, who accidentally took too much on one single occasion, became a schizophrenic, and has been living on the street, and in and out of jail, for decades.

Roky Erickson took a lot of acid. His band, the 13th Floor Elevators, actually made a point to take a lot of acid, both for live gigs and while recording. As a result, Erickson has been, at times, pretty fucking messed up. He was institutionalized twice ('68, '69) for mental problems, once for for three and a half years. It's been speculated that, while in a mental facility, he may have been irreversibly over-medicated. In 1989, while off of medication, he was arrested for mail theft, which in his case meant stealing his neighbors' mail, and taping it, unopened, to the wall of a room where he lived. He has been to the deep end and back a few times. So it's no wonder that when I ran into a recent video interview, I felt like I could exhale. Whether it's meds, or just being in a better place, he seems relatively normal, or at least fully functioning. So I thought I'd celebrate his okay-ness by posting some stuff.

Among other things below are two versions of the 13th Floor Elevator's "You're Gonna Miss Me," a stereo version, and the original mono (along with a live solo version). There's a cut from his pre-Elevators band, the Spades, and the 13th Floor Elevators cover of "Baby Blue," that sounds like Erickson backed by Dream Syndicate. There's a recent collaboration with Okkervil River (that one's ho-hum). There's "Bermuda," an excellent 1977 solo cut, and a few other 13th Floor Elevators cuts as well, chosen totally at random. There's a trailer to the 1996 documentary abour Erickson, "You're Gonna Miss Me." One last thing, there's a video down there of him on Austin City Limits, doing "You're Gonna Miss Me," with Billy Gibbons, from ZZ Top, playing guitar. That one is notable because of Gibbon's respectable ability to replicate the bizarre electric jug playing on the original version, on guitar. You should dig Roky Erickson while he's with us, and (call me a square) don't do acid.

The 13th Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me (stereo) mp3 at The Rising Storm
The 13th Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me (mono, 1966) mp3 at The Rising Storm
Rocky Erickson - You're Gonna Miss Me (Live) mp3 at X818
Roky Erickson - Bermuda (1977) mp3 at Grahamtrievel.com
Roky Erickson with Okkervil River - Goodbye Sweet Dreams (2011) mp3 at Pitchfuck
The 13th Floor Elevators - Levitation mp3 at api.ning.com
The 13th Floor Elevators - I Don't Want To Come Down mp3 at api.ning.com
The 13th Floor Elevators - Baby Blue mp3 at Bowling League Records 4
The 13th Floor Elevators - Roller Coaster mp3 at Rocking Classic
The Spades - We Sell Soul mp3 at Rocking Classic

The 13th Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me (pool party version) at YouTube
Roky Erickson with Billy Gibbons - You're Gonna Miss Me (Austin City Limits 2010) at YouTube
You're Gonna Miss Me, 1983 documentary, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4 at YouTube
You're Gonna Miss Me (1996) trailer at MySpace
Roky Erickson - Interview and The Creature With the Atom Brain (1980) at YouTube
Interview with Roky Erickson (recent) at Vimeo
The 13th Floor Elevators - A jug demonstration and "Fire Engine" (live, audio only) at YouTube
Roky Erickson Official site
Roky Erickson, interview by Gregg Turner, Creem Magazine, 6/81 at Texas Psych
Roky Erickson - Interview at L.A. Record
Rocky Erickson at Wikipedia
The 13th Floor Elevators at Wikipedia

No comments: