Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The 100 Greatest Bands of all time - #69 Roky Erickson & the Aliens

Founder of the seminal Austin-based psychedelic band The 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson had a nice hit and gained some fame with “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, but in 1969 he was arrested for the possession of a single joint and was threatened with a ten year prison sentence. Erickson plead insanity, and he actually was a diagnosed schizophrenic. He spent the next three years in Texas state hospitals enduring electro-shock therapy. In 1974, two years after being released, he formed Bleib Alien, the band that would become Roky Erickson & the Aliens. He then began to write and record some of the most haunting and beautiful music I’ve ever heard. Tales of zombies and ghosts, alligators and two headed dogs; he had tapped into some strange place and it was brilliant.

The Red Temple Prayer. I'd been workin' in the Kremlin with a two headed dog.

I walked with a zombie last night.

Someone made a great video for Roky's Night of the Vampire.

It's a cold night for alligators.
A perfect monster has no end.

Roky performs the classic Mine Mine Mind with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons guesting on guitar.

If you have ghosts, then you have everything.

The beautiful and deep love song You Don't Love Me Yet.

This just rocks! Don't Slander Me, Don't Slander Me, My My!

This song is gorgeous and a real heartbreaker.

I call your name in the midnight
but you don't hear me at all
I love you so dearly and nearly
but you don't love me at all

There's nothing in this big round world that worse hurts
than paying out and receiving nothing in return.

Are you going to Bermuda?

Another one of Roky's best, here is Starry Eyes.

and we conclude our look at Roky and the Aliens with my favorite of his tracks. As a devout believer in reincarnation, this song is quite religious in nature to me. I Have Always Been Here Before, indeed.

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