21 June 2007

i want a bright life, with a nose for things, a fresh wind and bright sky to enjoy my suffering

Here are some photos I took along the riverwalk in Austin last month. The guitars are all over the city; each one has been signed by an area musician. I believe the green one was signed by Stevie Ray Vaughn, but I was most excited about one signed by Roky Erickson. Roky fits with Austin's motto, "Keep Austin Wierd," as well as any local musician.

During the mid 60's, he was the principle singer, songwriter, and guitar player for the 13th Floor Elevators, the first group to call their music "psychedelic."
In 69, he was arrested for possession of a single marijuana cigarette, and was subsequently committed to the Rusk State Mental Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he was subjected to Thorazine, electroshock therapy, and other expiremental treatments.

After his release, Roky's mental health deteriorated, making it difficult for him to make music. He did release a few solo albums with odd lyrics about demons and UFO sightings over the next few decades, earning him a loyal cult following. Recently, he's made something of a comeback--touring and writing new material. In fact, he's going to perform in Austin on Friday, July 13th. Wish I could be there.

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