Saturday, April 27, 2013

CNNs Human Factor : Roky Erickson

In the Human Factor, CNN profiles survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle -- injury, illness or other hardship -- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week we meet one of the pioneers of psychedelic rock: Roky Erickson.

He was born Roger Kynard Erickson in 1947 in Dallas, but his fans know him as Roky (pronounced Rocky).

For a career that spans nearly half a century, Erickson has spent little time actually performing, but he still has a loyal following and is on tour again.

 In 1969, he was arrested for possession of a joint. He pleaded insanity, hoping that being in a mental institution would be better than going to prison, although it only cut his confinement from four years to three. While he was institutionalized, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and underwent various treatments including shock therapy. 

After his release, his career was never the same. What followed was many difficult years of battling mental illness, often untreated. The problems that kept Erickson from success in music also took a toll on his family life. MORE HERE

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