Roky Erickson is Back in the UK
“Roky Erickson, to this day, is one of the out-and-out wildest rock singers”
Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top
"Far-reaching, eloquent, fucked-up and beautiful - the greatest rock ’n’ roll in the world"
J Spaceman, Spiritualized
"In two hundred years time there will only be two 60s bands that count - The 13th Floor Elevators and The MC5"
The Texas psychedelic icon Roky Erickson returns to UK for a one-off show at the HMV Forum on 20th August. This is a chance to catch a true legend of the 60’s for only his second ever London appearance.
Roky Erickson was the visionary singer, songwriter and guitar player for trailblazing psychedelic rock band the 13th Floor Elevators. Although only in existence for a few short years their influence has reverberated for the decades since their demise. The fallout from being involved in such a radical and innovative band took its toll on Roky. The well-documented tales of drug abuse, mental illness, and misfortunes have entered rock ‘n’ roll folklore. Intermittent recording and occasional performances throughout the 70’s, 80’s and the 90’s only added to the Roky myth. It seemed that he could not and would not return to the public eye from the demons that had haunted and crippled him for many years. Of all the cult figures that have clawed their way back from the depths his resurrection as a performer ranks as the most unlikely, and most welcome, of them all.
Now Roky is due to return to London for the first time since his performance at the Royal Festival Hall, as part of the Meltdown Festival, in 2007. On that occasion he thrilled the audience with performances of solo songs such as I Walked With A Zombie and Night Of The Demon as well as Elevator classics You’re Gonna Miss Me and Splash 1. The night ended with an emotional standing ovation. It seemed scarcely believable his rehabilitation had brought him to this point but in recent years, with the help of friends and family, a fitter healthier Roky has now returned to deliver his wild and twisted take on his own legacy.
Interest in Roky and the Elevators has never been higher with an imminent 10 CD retrospective box set due to land this summer, following on from a biography and documentary in recent years. There is no better time to check out a true living psychedelic legend.
“I first heard Roky and the Elevators in Houston. I said, ‘Well, that’s it.’ It had a fierce background in R&B and blues, an enjoyably frightening intensity. And then Roky Erickson, one of the finest rock singers since Little Richard [and] Jerry Lee Lewis. His voice was so cutting and fierce and manic. In terms of out-and-out-wildness, it doesn’t get any better”
Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top