Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Roky Rocks!!June 28 2007
Ji Young Hwang
- Published on Amazon.com
"I, Roger (Roky) Erickson, do hereby declare that I am not a member of the human race (not an earthling) and am in fact an alien from a planet other than earth." His quote intrigued me to watch this movie. Even though I was a novice in psychedelic music and I didn't know who Roky was, the movie was fascinating enough to intrigue me; "how is he doing right now?"
There are a lot of biography movies about the dramatic, somewhat unfortunate life of extraordinary people. You might assume that You're Gonna Miss Me is just one of them. However, the difference between those and `You're Gonna Miss Me' is that this is an on-going story about a sublime musician.
The movie genuinely follows Roky Erickson's prosaic, isolated life. He is a quiet person, walking around his house like a zombie. But once the movie has shown his performance footages that were recorded when he was in the limelight back in 1970s, it definitely gives you nostalgia, but you can't help but wonder if you could ever see him performing like he used to be. And the real world doesn't let you down by making it as just nostalgia because you actually can see him at the concert. Yes, he still rocks.
Thanks to his brother, now he has overcome his inert attitude; he has been performing at many concerts. I was lucky enough to see him singing and playing guitar on the stage the other day; it was such an unforgettable experience especially after watching You're Gonna Miss Me. Can't wait to have its original soundtrack as well! You're Gonna Miss Me
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
The original Osbourne'sJuly 15 2007
J. L. Schweitzer
- Published on Amazon.com
I saw "You're Gonna Miss Me" last night, along with a live performance by Roky Erickson and the Explosives. This movie documents Roky's mental health decline from illegal drug use as well as his stay at Rusk State Prison (after a regrettable and dubious insanity plea for possession of marijuana) to his youngest brother Sumner's battle to become Roky's guardian.
In the beginning, the movie details the rise of the 13th Floor Elevators as well as several musicians commenting on the influence of Roky and the Elevators on rock and roll. The remainder of the movie vividly shows Roky's mental condition as well as the chaotic living conditions Roky seems content to remain in. More correctly, it's not that he's content to live in these conditions, it's that his mother's complete control over him and her distrust of psychiatry prevents him from getting the treatment that would benefit him.
The Erickson family could be considered the original Osbourne's, one big dysfunctional family. Much of the movie focuses on the daily interactions between Roky and his mother in Austin. There are also brief interviews with three of Roky's four brothers. The fourth brother, Sumner lives in Pittsburgh next door to Roger Erickson, Roky's father. Sumner maintains that through extensive counseling, he has been able to break free from his mother's domination and hold over him. As a result, Sumner becomes determined to wrestle Roky from his mother's guardianship so that he can receive proper treatment and medication.
Although the movie does not outright condemn Evelyn Erickson for her mismanagement of Roky, it does show that Roky improves after living with Sumner for a year, receiving counseling and presumably medication. However, Sumner's somatic treatments do come off as a little goofy and "new age-ish." And yet when Sumner's therapist asks Roky to sing a song, he picks up a guitar and starts playing and singing like the past tumultuous 25 plus years were but yesterday. And fortunately for us, this is how Roky is when he plays live. It's as if the fog of schizophrenia, depression, and drug use is lifted when he picks up a guitar.
In a telling moment, Sumner somewhat tacitly acknowledges that maybe his mother did the best she could with Roky when he admits that that caring for Roky is a challenge.
Incidentally, if you go to Roky's web site, you can donate to a trust fund to help Sumner fulfill his dream for Roky "to know permanent abundance, dignity, and wellness, in his life."
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful film, wonderful person. Go Roky !!!July 14 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful film and is a must have for all Roky Erickson fans. I had the privilege of seeing the premier of this film on July 13, 2007 in Austin, Texas in celebration of Roky's 60th Birthday. It was an outstanding experience. To top things off, after the film, Roky gave an absolutely amazing live performance with his current band The Explosives. What a night. Roky and the Explosive rocked like no one I've seen do in a long, long time. The band was tight and under Roky's leadership, literally brought the house down. Outstanding!
The film provides a good deal of insight into Roky's life beginning with his childhood in Austin, Texas throughout his legal and psychiatric bouts and issues. What was amazing to me, was to see how, at a time in his life while under the guardianship of his mother, it seemed as though there remained no desire whatsoever (and perhaps ability as well) for Roky to continue to create and perform music, which he is so gifted at doing and so clearly loves to do. Seeing his band perform after the film, was proof that Roky Erickson is back, is alive and well, and is in tip-top form!!
You're Gonna Miss Me contains early film footage of the 13th Floor Elevators, including a wonderful clip of their appearance on Dick Clark's American Band. In addition to a great amount of really great nostalgic film footage from the initial days of the psychedelic era, the film is sprinkled with appearances from Erickson family members and friends, Austin law enforcement officers, and commentary from Roky's many admirers, including Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and the great Austin, Texas artist Jim Franklin.
Although I have been a rocker and music fan for many, many years, I have actually just discovered and turned-on to Roky's music. I am so glad I did. Purchase "You're Gonna Miss Me", you won't be disappointed. Then proceed to explore Roky's music, if you haven't already. Oh yeah, do try to catch him in concert if you have the opportunity. Again, Roky still rocks with the best and will absolutely blow your mind.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Interesting film that doesn't quite get thereJan. 1 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
Roky Erickson and his band, the 13th Floor Elevators were a 60's rock band that seemed on the cusp of great success. They achieved a small amount of fame and this was greatly due to the power of Roky Erickson's voice. (It's very easy to believe that Janis Joplin was greatly influenced by Erickson as the film contends.) As with many other bands of the era, the group experimented heavily with psychedelic drugs. When Roky combined rampant drug use along with a preexisting mental illness he began behaving much more erratically, and slowly began fading away from society.
"You're Gonna Miss Me.." attempts to fill in what has happened to Roky in the twenty or so years since he disappeared from the public eye as well as show his current status. As it turns out, Erickson has been living in Austin under the care of his mother who has made him virtually unavailable to any other members of his family or doctors to help him with his illness. Indeed, one of the first times we see Roky today he is enraptured with a Mr. Potato Head doll. A huge rift has developed within his family, as it appears that Erickson's mother is also in dire need of some psychiatry as well. The creators of "You're Gonna Miss Me" have certainly chosen an interesting subject, and generally present it well. They did a fine job of capturing Roky, his living conditions, and his relationship with his mother. They also managed to locate more than enough footage throughout the years to document Roky's unraveling.
Despite the compelling material, there are a number of problems with the documentary. First, there is only passing attention paid to Erickson's father, brothers, or son. There was obviously much that had happened over the years between the family and Roky's mother that was not discussed during the documentary. I felt that those people had a lot to do with the story, but I was never allowed to really get to know them. There was even a remark made in passing during the film that Roky's father may have molested one or more of his sons, but for whatever reason the filmmakers chose not to investigate this further. The ending of the documentary left me wanting as well. There was a long period of time that Roky was in therapy and was taking medicine that the audience does not get to see. We jump from Roky being almost completely out of it to somewhat coherent months later. It would have been fascinating to see Erickson slowly reemerge. Although we get to see Roky pick up the guitar the guitar again, he clearly had a long way to go, and I'm sure the movie would have played better if the filmmakers had continued following Erickson for a while longer. (Luckily the dvd bonus materials help achieve that sense of closure the film lacks.)
The 13th Floor Elevators still have many fans today (some of them famous musician tons in their own right), and Erickson's fall into the depths of mental illness is an interesting and tragic one. The viewer can't help but feel that if the right actions had been taken at any number of critical times in Erickson's life that he might have avoided a large number of his problems.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Survival of an American Music IconAug. 19 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
"You're Gonna Miss Me" is a creative, superbly made documentary on the life of Austin rock legend Roky Erickson. Fans should be warned that the film isn't a music video or a retrospective of any kind, and so shouldn't be approached as such. It is not even "entertainment", though it's very engaging, moving and even suspenseful. Those seeking only Roky's music should just skip to the Extras (although there you'll find his full reading of "I Know the Hole in Baby's Head", which strongly hints at the dark real-life stuff in the film). Only some brief interviews with folks like Thurston Moore and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons give the film any commonality with typical music docs.
Rather the film is a harrowing, painful and unblinking story of personal survival. It portrays, with incredible up-close intimacy, Erickson's lifelong schizophrenia and the chillingly dysfunctional and tragic family from which he has no means to distance himself. You'll find yourself amazed that he's still alive and getting by - in his own odd way - after all he's been through.
Most of the film documents Erickson's day-to-day life with his mother, and we soon realize she's as toxic a presence in his life as mental illness or state incarceration ever were. Think of the Pink Floyd song "Mother" and you'll have some clue about this woman, who is nonetheless a sympathetic figure herself. She plainly cares and means well. Most interestingly, she's very musical and artistic herself - and nearly as eccentric as her son is.
One of Roky's brothers (a classical musician) finally stages an intervention. A Texas court appoints the brother as Roky's sole guardian; at last getting him the proper treatment he so badly needs. While the film doesn't have a "happy" conclusion, at least it ends with Roky being much more stable and contented than he'd been in years. Those closest to Erickson describe him as always being very likable and sweet; and this quality still shines brightly forth from him despite everything. I very much wonder how he's doing today.