Gibson was proud to sponsor the recent DVD release of You’re Gonna Miss Me, the fascinating new documentary on legendary cult rocker Roky Erickson and his triumphant return from mental illness. Founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators and the inventor of psychedelic rock, Roky is known as one of rock and roll’s most famous cult rockers. A lifetime Gibson fan, Roky’s always favored our Electric Spanish models—the ES-335 in the early days and the ES-137 today.

Over the years, R.E.M and ZZ Top, among many others, have recorded or performed Roky’s songs. In addition, Roky is an acknowledged influence on such diverse musicians as Robert Plant, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Henry Rollins, Mike Watt, Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers, Jon Spencer, the Damned, Red Krayola, Pere Ubu, and current indie hit-makers the White Stripes.

Unfortunately, Roky’s struggles with drug abuse and mental illness took a serious toll early in his career. His 1969 arrest in Texas for possession of a single marijuana cigarette led to his being committed for three years to Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he was reportedly subjected to Thorazine, electroshock therapy, and other experimental treatments. Most agree he was never the same after his release. Roky has had prolific periods of creativity in the intervening years, but unscrupulous managers and record label executives often took advantage of his condition, leaving Roky to live in poverty while others profited from his music.

Happily, today we find Roky in the process of making an astounding recovery from a nearly two-decade long period of almost total tragedy. His youngest brother, singer/songwriter Sumner Erickson, was appointed Roky’s legal guardian in June 2001. Roky is now back in Austin, Texas, where his health continues to improve dramatically. In March 2005 Roky made his first public performance in 10 years, performing three songs at the Roky Erickson Psychedelic Ice Cream Social at Threadgills in Austin. He was backed by the Explosives. In September of the same year, he played the Austin City Limits Festival (again with the Explosives), which marked his first full concert appearance in almost two decades. This weekend, he’ll take the stage at Lollapalooza.

Austin and Gibson Guitar are proud to have Roky back!

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