As frontman for the Texas band 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson helped usher in the psychedelic era with the twisted garage anthem "You're Gonna Miss Me" The song's urgent momentum, some of you may recall, was augmented by some frantic jug-playing.
Despite myriad battles with his proverbial demons – from which he is said to have recovered significantly in the last year or two – Erickson has gone on to create a lot of memorable rock music, which is anthologized on the handsome two-disc anthology "I Have Always Been Here Before" (Shout! Factory).
"If You Have Ghosts," which is credited to Roky Erickson & The Aliens, was recorded in 1977 and released on the largely horror-themed 1981 album "The Evil One." As always, Erickson sounds prescient here, prefiguring the emotional darkness and keening guitar noise of '90s indie rock.
And whether or not they were a symptom of his psychological disintegration, the lyrics convey an "otherness" you just don't find every day, laced with nocturnal images of madness and transformation.
"Ghosts," which John Wesley Harding covered on the 1990 tribute disc "Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye," is a masterpiece – spooky, weird and totally rockin'. When I hear it, I see dead people.