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Roky Erickson

Roky Erickson, born Roger Kynard Erickson in 1947, is an American musician from Texas and a founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators.

Erickson was the chief songwriter for the 13th Floor Elevators, which was composed mostly of fellow Texans. Janis Joplin considered joining the Elevators, but Chet Helms[?] persuaded her to go to San Francisco, California instead. In 1966, the band released The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators[?], which had the band's only charting single, "You're Gonna Miss Me". Reportedly, the album title marks the first instance in which the word psychedelic was used to describe music.

In 1967, the band followed up with Easter Everywhere, perhaps the band's most successful effort, featuring the epic track "Slip Inside This House".

In 1969, Erickson was arrested for possession of six marijuana joints in Austin, Texas. Rather than serve a short prison term, Erickson pled insanity, which proved to be a mistake. He was sent to the Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Austin, where he was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy and Thorazine treatments and held until 1972.

When released from the state hospital, Erickson's mental outlook had changed. In 1974, Erickson formed a new band which he called Bleib Alien, Bleib being an anagram for Bible. His new band exchanged the psychedelic sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators for a more heavy metal sound that featured lyrics on old horror film and science fiction themes.

The new band renamed itself Roky Erickson and the Aliens. In 1979, Erickson recorded some of his new material with Stu Cook[?], formerly of Creedence Clearwater Revival. In 1981, Roky and the Aliens released The Evil One, an album of his material on horror movie themes. Several live albums of his older material have been released since then, and a tribute album. In 1995 Erickson released All That May Do My Rhyme, a mostly acoustic set of country tinged material. Erickson is in semi-retirement from the music business.

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