(l-r) Buck, McCaughey, Erickson, Wimmer
Photo By Todd V. Wolfson
Roky Erickson's Psychedelic Ice-Cream SocialThreadgill's World Headquarters, Friday, March 14
Before things really got going, as we all sat around in the shade, enjoying the breeze, a few old hippies debated the relative merits of dosing the day's dessert. "Is there acid in the ice cream?" one wondered aloud. "There should be. ... This would be a whole different town if there was!" said another. For better or worse, the kind folks at Amy's Ice Cream declined to add a little something extra to the generous helpings of Mexican Vanilla and Belgian Chocolate sold to peckish music lovers. After all, the event was staged in the interest of raising money for the Roky Erickson Foundation, set up to aid the beloved 13th Floor Elevators founder who has struggled for so long with mental illness brought on by extensive and prolonged drug use and hospitalization. It didn't take long for the yard at Threadgill's to fill up, as host and former SIMS Foundation Director Peyton Wimmer hustled altruistic bands like Fascination 157, the Via Satellites, popular local cover band the Mystic Knights of the Sea, and marquee players the Minus 5, featuring Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey and R.E.M. bassist Peter Buck. Said Buck of his participation in the event: "It seemed like an obvious thing to do. Roky's one of the first generation of rock stars and has been influential down the line." Erickson himself showed up around 1:30pm looking healthy (if a bit sleepy) and sweetly posed for pictures with everyone from eager young musicians in beat-up Resistols to middle-aged bottle blondes in skin-tight leopard-print blouses. The swarm around him was impenetrable for most of the afternoon, and by 3pm or so, he was nowhere to be seen. But people stuck around and continued to buy ice cream and the gorgeous posters printed by Kerry Awn, all in a heartwarming display of community and support for someone who has been such an influential contributor to the music world, locally and beyond.