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Roky Erickson, Rest in Peace

Roky Erickson at Rough Trade USA
Roky Erickson at Rough Trade (more by Greg Cristman)

Very sad news: Psych rock icon and 13th Floor Elevators frontman Roky Erickson has died at the age of 71. Austin 360 posted that Austin musician Jon Dee Graham wrote in a public Facebook post, “SO LONG, ROKY. RIP. I’m gonna miss you baby,” adding in the comments, “I just heard from a member of his family that he has passed. No details.” Variety  confirmed the reports: Roky’s brother, Mikel, told Bill Bentley who produced the 1990 tribute Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye. “Roky lived in so many worlds, you couldn’t keep up with him,” Bentley told Variety. “He lived so much, and not always on this planet.”

The 13th Floor Elevators’ Easter Everywhere came in at #17 on our list of 50 Best Albums From the Summer of Love and we wrote, “as far as psychedelic music goes, there are Johnny Come Latelies, bandwagoners, and scene-stealers, and then there’s The 13th Floor Elevators.” You can hear Roky’s influence in music to the day — look no further than the lineup of Austin’s Levitation festival which was named after an Elevators song. Roky was still active in music, having played NYC last Halloween, and he was to have played the 13th Floor Elevators’ Easter Everywhere in full in Jersey City before performing at Huichica East festival.

Rest in peace, Roky. We’re gonna miss you.

UPDATE: Fellow musicians have taken to social media to pay tribute to Roky.

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