Queens of the Stone Age Icon Devastated By Tragedy

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Former Queens of the Stone Age and Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan is ‘devastated’ after the tragic death of Roky Erickson.

“Devastated to hear of Roky Erickson’s passing. One of the reasons I began singing. A huge inspiration and giant in the history of rock. I used to call him every day in the 80’s, he would actually pick up once every couple months and talk horror films with me. Such a loss. RIP.”

Roky Erickson was the singer and songwriter for psychedelic legends the 13th Floor Elevators and an icon of Texas rock music. He died Friday in Austin, Texas at the age of 71.

Erickson’s death was confirmed by his brother Mikel to Bill Bentley, who produced the all-star 1990 Erickson tribute album “Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye,” which included performances by R.E.M., ZZ Top, Doug Sahm and other stars.

“Roky lived in so many worlds, you couldn’t keep up with him,” Bentley told Variety. “He lived so much, and not always on this planet.”

NPR reported, “The Texas native was a legend in his home state and an embodiment of what became his hometown’s slogan, ‘Keep Austin Weird.’ Erickson, whose given name was Roger Kynard Erickson, was just a teenager in the mid-1960s when he turned his love for classic blues and soul music into unhinged rock and roll. His burly howl and searing guitar helped establish a new path for rock music and turned him into a beloved cult figure for the remainder of his life.”