“In two hundred years time there will only be two 60s bands that count
– The 13th Floor Elevators and The MC5”.
Not my words, the quote is from Julian Cope who knows his psychedelic onions better than most. I’m a Seeds man myself, but the 13FE are right up there, as featured on Lenny Kaye’s original Nuggets compilation, and main players in the mid-sixties Texan garage punk scene.
Well, the Elevators iconic frontman and chief songwriter Roky Erikson is coming to London. He playes at the HMV Forum on 20th August. This will be only his second ever London appearance, following his successful show at Jarvis Cockers’ 2007 Meltdown.
Roky’s rocky road is a truly sobering tale. Not quite America’s Syd Barrett, his misfortune was to hail from hard-nosed, straight-laced Texas rather than the hippy climes of California. The band’s openly pro-halucinogenics stance brought them into conflict with the authorities and were thus hassled incessantly. Found in possession of a single joint in 1969, Erickson faced a prison term of ten years. He pleaded insanity and was sent to the loony bin for a five-year stint.
Now a legal ward of his younger brother Summer Erickson, Roky has at last received decent help and medication, beginning an effective rehabilitation process.
A ticket will set you back around £30 and are available from here. You never know, it might be one to tell the grandchildren about.