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Posts Tagged ‘Your’e Gonna Miss Me’

You’re Gonna Miss Me is a documentary about Roger Kynard “Roky” Erickson. For those of you not in k the know Roky was a co-founder, guitarist and singer for 13th Floor Elevators, one of the first psychedelic bands of the 1960s. The film opens with a court scene in which Sumner Ericskon, Roky’s youngest brother, is attempting to gain guardianship of Roky from their mother Evelyn. So we have our set up for the movie-a family power struggle of sorts. Next we see the band performing their best known song “You’re Gonna Miss Me” on a 1966 TV appearance on Dick Clark’s show of while the likes of Billy Gibbons extol the talents of Roky and the glorious future 13th Floor Elevators should have had. Director Keven McAlester then juxtaposes the image of a young Roky and words of how amazing he was with a shot of his current self; older, heavy set, and, well a little off his nut and in need of someone else’s care. The rest of the film takes us through Roky’s drug use and persecution by local law enforcement and his incarceration in a mental facility. We get to see that even after 10 years of being commited Roky was able to come out and be fairly successful and prolific as a musician. And here’s the kicker, his music with Roky Erickson and the Aliens was good! But this is not a story of triumph, not yet anyway. Roky was mentally ill and needed treatment and medication the whole time after he was released. Instead he self medicated with a variety of illegal substances that contributed to his decline and eventual need of care.

You’re Gonna Miss Me is as much about Evelyn Erickson as it is Roky. She clearly has her own issues and spends a lot of time creating large murals and collages chronicling Roky’s rise and fall. We also get a little bit about how her husband and father of her four boys may have been a pedophile that completely jacked up one or all of the boys, but there is no follow up. Roky and Evelyn are kindred spirits. Both artistic and both a little bonkers. We get to see the filth they both live in. Evelyn and Roky appear to need visual and aural clutter to calm their frantic minds.

In the end Sumner does get guardianship of his brother and helps him get treatment with Sumner’s own therapist, or “mentor” as he calls her. The therapy scenes were physically painful for me as they don’t look at all like they would be helpful. She has the brothers march/walk in a circle. There is also a moment when the therapists asks Roky what he wants to do when he is better and he says he wants to go see his mother and talk to her. Sumner is visibly upset. Despite my opinion, the therapy has apparently worked as Roky has Roky Erickson and The Explosives and has been playing shows again, including 2007’s Bumbershoot.

This is an interesting film and is full of interesting characters. There is actually a lot to digest and I recommend multiple viewings. So much I haven’t touched on, like Evelyn’s exploitation of Roky for her wacked out home movies or a beautiful shot of the Erickson patriarch leaving Sumner’s house and walking right next door to his own. You have to see this to understand why it had such an impact on me. You’re Gonna Miss Me is a great documentary about some one who should be more famous and more successful than he is, but it is also a story of the triumph of brotherly love and responsibility.

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