Austin, Texas’ 13th Floor Elevators broke boundaries in the late 1960s, with Roky Erickson leading the way in a psychedelic revolution. The band was short-lived, breaking up before the ’60s were even over, but the influence of 13th Floor Elevators reverberated with bands for decades afterward, from Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and the Holding Company to Primal Scream.
Before the band even finished, Roky Erickson was already struggling with hints of mental illness. In the following years, Erickson’s state declined, though interest in his music during the ’80s and ’90s increased. Finally, in 2001, Erickson’s younger brother was granted custody of Roky, and together they got Roky out of the myriad of problems – both mental and legal – that had been plaguing Roky for decades.
What followed was a slew of activity, from playing at the Austin City Music Limits Festival, Coachella Festival, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Austin Music Awards, South By Southwest and more. He also released a record, True Love Cast Out All Evil, in April of this year, which was recorded with Okkervil River.
And now Roky Erickson is back on tour, and will be stopping in Washington, D.C. for a show at Black Cat on November 5.