Roky Erikson and the Black Angels show (2-24-14)

Wow, talk about a crowded show. And of course, the acoustics were horrible; an A-frame venue with a vaulted, two story ceiling, it was like listening to headphones. Although, this Florida show did get started on time. To the minute to be precise, and I had to run back to the truck to ditch my pocket knife because they were wanding people at the door, which was a popular conversation piece among those inside as well.
So I arrived twenty minutes into Roky’s set. He was playing with his son’s band, and they were great. I think the best band that has played with Roky. The Black Angels played half the tour with him but supposedly playing two sets a night was too much and Roky’s son’s band took their place at some point. Either way, it was Roky Erickson so it was incredible.
The Black Angels got set up and started playing quickly, but the set was played by a tired band combined with the headphone-like acoustics made for a less than stellar performance, but everyone has off nights and it was still good.


The bottom line is weather you piss on the floor or not… I probably did but the show was still pretty good, likely the best to hit Orlando this year, I was just a little drunk and careless.
For those who don’t know about Roky Erickson, he was in the 13th Floor Elevators, a psychedelic band from the 1960’s and later after several years in state psychiatric custody he went on to play what he termed “horror rock” recording an album as Roky Erickson and the Aliens, which is one of my favorite albums of all time. You’re Gonna Miss Me is a great documentary about his life that fills in many of the details.
Every generation has some truly gifted musicians, musicians whose work is timeless, and Roky Erickson is one of those artists of our generation. It was awesome to see him and for those who don’t already know, all of his work is highly recommended.


Roky Erickson and the Aliens- The Evil One

Roky Erickson, one of the founding members of the 13th Floor Elevators in the 1960’s, singing and writing psychedelic songs until 1969 when he was arrested for a joint and ended up spending the next three years in Texas funny-farms because he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and the Texas authorities took a dim view of him promoting LSD and marijuana use, though he is defiantly not right upstairs.
1974 saw Erickson free and forming a new band called Bleib alien playing hard rock with lyrics from horror films, which he termed “horror rock”.
The band was renamed Roky Erickson and the Aliens and released the album The Evil One in 1981, but by 1982 an alien had invaded his body, or so he said.
Without medication he withdrew from musical pursuits and subsequently spent several years channeling his creative energy into the postal system, spending hours examining junk mail the way Christians pour over the bible trying to find a hidden meaning in a random collection of words.
In 2001 Roky’s youngest brother, Sumner, was granted legal custody of his brother and he started taking medication again, stopped fucking with the mail, and started playing shows again.
Roky Erickson is a creative genius and this is just an introduction to him and his work because there are mountains of his work and almost as much in tribute or covering his songs. In fact in my research for this post I found out that in 1995 Entombed and New Bomb Turks released a cover-split entitled
Night of the Vampire
, which I want to find and listen to now (if I do I will share it of course).
Next week I will post about the 13th Floor Elevators .

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