Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The 13th Floor Elevators "You're Gonna Miss Me" 1966
The 13th Floor Elevators could have been comercially huge, but tragically they were cursed with bad luck on the way -- culminating with the mental decline of Roky Erickson, worsened in large part by being placed in a mental hospital for the criminally insane. Some say Roky's sentence was calculated to serve as a warning to the youth of Texas that drugs would not be tolerated. In the raid that arrested him, he was caught with about three grams of marijuana in a matchbox (some speculation is that it was planted on him in the first place). Unfortunately, at this time Roky was "roller-coastering" with his mental illness (schizophrenia), no doubt later worsened by the forced ECT and thoarzine injection therapies used at the hospital.
The rest of the band eventually folded and went their separate ways. Any chance for a full 13th Floor Elevators reunion was lost when the guitarist Stacey Sutherland died from a gunshot wound inflicted by his estranged wife during the late '70s. All in all, a sad story -- and for those interested -- it's worth checking out the 2005 Keven McAlester documentary about Roky also titled "You're Gonna Miss Me." In any case, Roky deserves an induction into the RnR Hall of Fame.