Gremlins Have Pictures by Roky Erickson
Gremlins Have Pictures by Roky Erickson is available to order from The LP Cafe.
Gremlins Have Pictures is an anthology of Erickson’s solo work following his extended incarceration at the Rusk State Hospital for the criminally insane, beginning with his first live performance (opening for a screening of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in Austin) all the way to Don’t Slander Me. The core member of 13th Floor Elevators, and an undisputed pioneer of psychedelic rock, Erickson struck big with the howling single ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’. “Any kid that played music in the Houston area would tell you the Elevators ruled,” says Erickson’s future drummer Freddie Krc in the liner notes. “Unlike the West Coast groups, they were our band.” But Erickson’s ‘60s dream came to an abrupt end when he was caught with a single marijuana joint on his person. Pleading not guilty by reason of insanity to avoid prison, he was sent to the Rusk State Hospital, where he was ‘treated’ with electroconvulsive therapy and Thorazine treatment. Collected here, the odds and ends of Erickson’s post-incarceration work tell a story of a man finding his musical feet, ranging from Dylan-like folk strumming to the big, Neil Young-like rock of the unparalleled ‘Anthem (I Promise)’. The span of time is great – from The Ritz Theatre tracks, recorded in Austin in 1975, at the debut performance by The Aliens, to those troubled Don’t Slander Me off-cuts. Other tracks were cut with the Explosives, the band Roky started working with at Raul’s punk club in Austin after he’d returned to Austin in 1979, following the departure of the Aliens. Together the various tracks deftly summarize Roky Erickson’s recording career. Following reissues of The Evil One and Don’t Slander Me, Gremlins is now brought back to life by Light In The Attic Records. This is a chance to pick up a missing jigsaw piece in the history of American rock ‘n’ roll in deluxe packages. Don’t let it pass you by.