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'60s psychedelic cult figure unearthedRoky Erickson - You're Gonna Miss Me Original Soundtrack
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: July 12, 2007
Review by Tony BonyataSchizophrenic madman, doper, cult figure and one of the major proponents to both '60s psychedelic and garage rock with his former band The 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson is not only alive and, relatively, well, but after years of seclusion - which also included a three-year stint in Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in the early '70s for possession of one marijuana joint - he's also been making a bit of a comeback with a handful of high profile shows and a new documentary film on his life entitled "You're Gonna Miss Me."
While Erickson's life story is disturbingly tragic, the twelve-song soundtrack that accompanies the film is a celebration of this under-sung musician's important body of work through the decades. The album kicks off with The 13th Floor Elevators' 1966 hit "You're Gonna Miss Me," which was Erickson's only song to ever crack the Billboard charts. With Roky's possessed howling vocal delivery and wild harmonica playing, along with a deranged guitar-line and sneering rhythm, this song single-handedly helped usher in the psychedelic sounds that started to reverb from basements and garages throughout The States in the '60s. The Elevators are also represented here with the inclusion of "Fire Engine,' a dizzying rocker from their 1966 debut Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators that's crowded with ghostly winds and reeks of burnt gasoline.
Despite the fact that Erickson's legacy is best remembered for his early seminal work with The Elevators, the soundtrack for "You're Gonna Miss Me" only features the two aforementioned songs from this band, while the rest of the collection instead focuses more on both his solo material and his work with his early '80s band Roky Erickson and the Aliens. While his penchant for horror and sci-fi themes that dominated many of his songs with The Aliens is documented with the pounding rockers "Bloody Hammer," "Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)" and "It's A Cold Night For Alligators," Erickson's softer side is also represented with the inclusion of beautiful solo works such as "Starry Eyes" and the harrowing plea of "For You (I'd Do Anything)" as well as little known pop gems like "Mine, Mine, Mind" and the jangley "You Don't Love Me Yet."
Far from a household name, Roky Erickson's music, nonetheless, deserves to be resurrected and re-evaluated. And as it turns out, there's probably no better place for the uninitiated to start than this revealing soundtrack.
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