Pioneering psychedelic rocker Roky Erickson dies at 71

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NEW YORK (AP) – Roky Erickson, the blue-eyed, dark-haired Texan who headed the Austin-based 13th Floor Elevators, a pioneering psychedelic rock band in the 1960s that scored with “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” has died. He was 71.

Erickson’s death on Friday was announced by his brother, Mikel Erickson, on Facebook and confirmed by his agent, Dave Kaplan. The cause and location of death were not revealed.

Erickson’s sinuous lead guitar and wailing vocals didn’t turn him into a chart topper, but they cemented his role as a musician’s musician. Fans included everyone from Lenny Kaye and the Swedish metal group Ghost – who covered his “If You Have Ghosts” – to ZZ Top.

A 1990 tribute album to Erickson, “Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye,” attracted the likes of R.E.M., T-Bone Burnett, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Julian Cope, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Primal Scream and ZZ Top.

In this March 17, 2018 photo, Roky Erickson performs at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Erickson, the blue-eyed, dark-haired Texan who headed the Austin-based 13th Floor Elevators, a pioneering psychedelic rock band in the 1960s that scored with “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” has died, Friday, May 31, 2019. He was 71. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
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