|Roky Erickson - Don't Slander Me
A year after the release of The Evil One, Roky's situation deteriorated, the spotty mental state that had reared its head in interviews for the album lead way to an obsession with the mail that soon absorbed much of Erickson's time and would lead to an arrest on counts
| of tampering with the mail, charges which were eventually dropped. He began to obsess over junk mail in particular, though he also wrote to solicitors and celebrities both dead and living during this time. He taped letters sent to himself, and those sent to neighbors, unopened to the walls of his house. It was the fact that he never opened the mail lead to the charges being dropped. Further, he became convinced that an alien was inhabiting his body and that humans were attacking him psychically. |
Through this, though, he was able to gather a new batch of rotating musicians and get into a proper studio for the sessions that would form Don't Slander Me. Many of these songs would pop up in various forms, on releases with less crystal clear recordings, but this is where they sound the best and the backing band helps propel Erickson's sharp edged rock to the heights it deserved. This is the record that best exemplifies why Roky is a legend, songs like "Starry Eyes," "You Drive Me Crazy" and the title track are proven Erickson classics and the record has the kind of bite that few at the time could deliver. 1986 was a time of overindulgence in the rock world but Don't Slander Me sounds as nervy, tough-skinned and heartfelt as anything could through the decade. It’s an essential record that few might own, but many have felt reverberate through so many bands that have been touched by Roky's work.
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