Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You're Gonna Miss Me - A Film About Roky Erikson

I've been a huge fan of Roky's for decades and love his work with the legendary 13th Floor Elevators as well as his harder, more metallic solo ventures. This film documents his career, from the meteoric rise of his first band - with tributes from such figures as fellow Texan Billy Gibbons - to his prodigious drug use and subsequent marijuana bust, which landed him in a local mental institute (his chose this instead of jail). Between his diagnosed schizophrenia, drug use and electro shock therapy, he was never quite the same after this. He retired from music for a while, returned in the 70's and early 80's with super-strong but much darker tunes and then went on a more downward turn.

This film shows recounts these stories and more and interviews his very dysfunctional family, who all - even the more "normal" ones - seem to have issues of their own. His mother, who was his guardian for a time, seemed to barely be able to take care of herself (and seems to have her own mental issues) and due to religious convictions, didn't want Roky to take medication for his schizophrenia. He eventually started getting treatment, but never seemed to have fully recovered. He is making music again, though I have not heard anything yet.

This is a fascinating story of a true mad genius whose insanity gave this world a multitude of wonderful music, but at a huge cost to the creator. Once again showing the fine line - that is all too often crossed - between inspiration and madness.