June 26, 2006

Roky Erickson - Musician with Schizophrenia, Returns

The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that Roky Erickson, a well-known musician from the 70's is making a comeback.

"As he fought a long, sad battle with schizophrenia exacerbated by psychedelic drug use, Roky Erickson largely avoided the music world for the last two decades: Before Saturday, he had not performed outside his native Texas since 1982, and he had never played in Chicago. Encouraged by his younger brother to seek the right medications and take control of his life, the singer is a new man at age 58 -- healthy, happy and ready to reclaim one of the richest legacies in rock history.

Erickson beamed as he took the stage and basked in the adulation of fans who never thought they'd see him perform. Backed by a crack band of his Austin peers led by the fiery guitarist Cam King, he delivered a generous set that included many of his best songs, the titles of which illuminate the frightening struggles of his past: "Don't Shake Me Lucifer," "I Think Up Demons," "Don't Slander Me" and, of course, the 13th Floor Elevators' classic 1966 hit, "You're Gonna Miss Me."

Erickson's voice, notable for combining the best attributes of his heroes James Brown, Little Richard and Buddy Holly, was in fine form, its power diminished only slightly by the passing of time, and he augmented King with ferocious guitar riffs and churning rhythms. In contrast to Brian Wilson, who battled similar problems before his recent comeback, Erickson seemed genuinely enthusiastic about returning to the stage, much more involved in the music and much happier to be surrounded by fans who hugged him, took photos with him and left with autographs."

Roky Erickson - Web site

Rocky Erickson - Wikipedia Entry


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