Published May 31, 2019Roky Erickson — the legendary psych musician known for his band the 13th Floor Elevators, as well as his accomplished solo career — has passed away. He was 71 years old.
Erickson died earlier today. The news was revealed by Erickson's brother Mikel to the record producer Bill Bentley, who confirmed the death to Variety.
"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."
Roky Erickson was born on July 15, 1947, in Austin. In the mid-1960s, he founded the 13th Floor Elevators. The band's albums The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators and Easter Everywhere are both integral albums in the world of psych-rock.
The 13th Floor Elevators disbanded in the late '60s following Erickson's diagnosis with paranoid schizophrenia. After that band ended, he enjoyed a long and robust solo career. He also collaborated with everyone from Mogwai to Okkervil River to the Black Angels. The 13th Floor Elevators wound up reuniting in 2015.
Erickson's battle with mental illness was also documented in the 2007 film You're Gonna Miss Me.