Oral histories generally refer to an amorphous “story” whose excerpts fail to be properly identified. No True love expels all evilA novel about the life of Rocky Erickson. Brian T. Atkinson’s rocking garage dominoes rippling through dozens of fantastic sources pulse with a long psychedelic tale in waves of sound and vision like someone gasping over an oversized kerosene jug.
Starting with introductions (Billy Gibbons, Henry Rollins) and review of his introduction, testimonials of thanks, a brief timeline of the revolutionary band’s theme, the 13th floor elevator, a trampoline ATX music historian away from the singer in the lead – “she needed to get her name more than [as] Member of the elevator company. It had to be Janis Joplin. I should have been Rocky Erickson. ‘—and bid us farewell to the 1950s living room of Clan Erickson in South Austin. Let that melt on your tongue for a moment. Linear rather than elliptical, tracing elegant and meaty The Songwriting Legacy of Rocky Erickson Most respondents are allowed only one entry because it sings across half a century of pioneering history.
Opening Mike Pankratz, who is still the father of extraordinary drummer Lisa Pankratz, revealed his “parents were Bohemian”. “Their house was an idiot… Calling them liberals would be an understatement.”
“We grew up in a two-bedroom house in Austin,” continues Mikkel Erickson, the second of three first siblings. “The house was built in 1947, while my parents were still living in Dallas, where Rocky was born in July of that year.”
Part One: Psychedelic Sounds from the lifts of the 13th floor gives the ride the purest, always awe-inspiring flight through the local boiler that set up a group credited with crafting the genre. Clementine Hall, the group’s muse, lyricist, and producer of the band’s name plays contemporary, as did early collaborator Paul St. Together with a tightly executed cast, they pieced together a legend of howling perhaps equal to little Richard himself, an acoustic soul guide whose lightning bolt in rock ‘n’ roll reverberated through the psychic stratosphere when he was shocked by visions of the band’s creed Tommy Hall’s Third Eye.
“Part Two: The Interpreter More than 50 participants erect a countertop Tower of Babel to document one language: the Jerusalem-lined Ghost Rock of Friends. Too many confrontations with Johnny Law over the bowl clash with tragic legal advice to land Ericsson in the dungeon at the mercy of electroshock therapy directly. Someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest. Consumed by demons alike, real and imagined, the upbeat Austinian arcs through shock rock in the ’80s, psychogenic sabotage in the ’90s, and finally transcend the new millennium as captured by Will Sheff and Okkervil River via the collaborative LP that holds this equally cherished document.
Also note: The literal elevator image of “unknown” origin appeared in the photo section of the cover Austin Chronicle On March 14, 2008, as captured by Todd F. Wolfson at the Driskill Hotel. Gary Clark Jr., Brannan Temple, and Black Joe Louis ferries to the 13th floor.
True Love Eliminates All Evil: Rocky Erickson’s Songwriting Legacy By Brian T. Atkinson, Texas A&M University Press, 240 pages, $28
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