Texas psych rock legend Roky Erickson has died

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Roky Erickson Photo by Kynan Tait (Creative Commons)

Roky Erickson, co-founder of psych rock band 13th Floor Elevators has passed away at the age of 71, the Austin American-Statesmen has reported.

Erickson is one of those seminal figures in pop music history who might escape notice from the bulk of today's listening audience, but who actually was responsible for laying the groundwork for a huge chunk of what they actually are familiar with. He is the true progenitor of psychedelic rock music, and artists ranging from Black Sabbath, Echo and the Bunnymen, Primal Scream, Queens of the Stone Age, and Tame Impala all feature elements that Erickson helped to pioneer.

He was also the subject of one of the first and best of the modern all-star tribute records, 1990's Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye, which featured the likes of Z.Z. Top, the Jesus and Mary Chain, REM, T-Bone Burnett and many others covering Erickson's songs.

His solo work, along with his output with the 13th Floor Elevators is revered and his loss hits especially hard for his beloved Texas music community. RIP.