Funny, heartbreaking documentary charts the tragic tale of Roky Erickson, charming lead singer of the legendary 13th Floor Elevators, who stared into the cosmos and never came back.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Following in the Texan footsteps of last year’s impressive The Devil and Daniel Johnston comes another incredibly tragic tale of a charismatic Austin musician who stared into the cosmos and never came back. The legendary 13th Floor Elevators coined the term psychedelic rock and were responsible for the 1966 US hit ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’. Their lead singer was Roky Erickson, an easy charmer with a passion for science fiction, comics and monsters. He seemed destined to become a major star, but as he bulleted up the charts, so did his drug intake and his very public affirmations of the wonders of marijuana and LSD. Eventually he was arrested for a single joint and sent to an asylum for three years to avoid prison. Diagnosed as a schizophrenic, he was subjected to extensive shock treatment. On release, he was taken in by his overprotective mother, who refused to administer his prescribed medication and, in doing so, deepened a rift in an already dysfunctional family. Both heartbreaking and funny, this is an affecting rock’n’roll portrait of musical genius, mental illness and misguided love.