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Product Review: Roky Erickson Throbblehead by Aggronautix

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It certainly makes sense for the Aggronautix Company to honor Roky Erickson as their latest Throbblehead figure. Throbbleheads are Aggronautix’s version of bobblehead dolls with a punk rock twist. Previous inductees include GG Allin, The Dwarves, and Wendy O. Williams, among others. Roky is the oldest of the bunch, and possibly the most deserving of all.

Our hero formed the great psychedelic punk band The 13th Floor Elevators in 1966. Back then Austin, Texas was not known for its tolerance of hippie types, and in 1969 Erickson was busted for possession of one joint. As unbelievable as it seems, for this he was facing a 10-year prison sentence. So Roky plead guilty by reason of insanity. Before you could say “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest,” Erickson was practically lobotomized by the authorities.

His treatment included electro-shock therapy, a smorgasbord of drugs (including the infamous Thorazine) and who knows what else. The results? Not good. But when Roky was finally released, he made some of the most unhinged music this side of Syd Barrett, which along with his work with the Elevators has made him a national treasure. Things are better now, he is on decent meds and has reportedly stabilized, and recently was presented an award for his contribution to Texas music from none other than Billy Gibbons.

Aggronautix have stepped up and immortalized Roky with one of their best-looking Throbbleheads yet. The details are just right. Dressed as a truly dapper Texas hippie, Roky sports a full beard and some seriously long hair, as well as his ubiquitous cowboy boots. A white shirt, with black button-down vest and blue jeans complete the outfit. The look is circa 1980, when Roky was calling himself “The Evil One.”

The figure stands seven inches tall, and is housed in a clear plastic clamshell, presented in a windowed display box. Only 1,000 numbered figures were produced, and my guess is that they will go fast.

Aggronautix have discovered a very cool niche market to honor their favorite punks. Sales seem to be doing well, as Roky is their 11th Throbblehead since the first (GG Allin) back in 2009. I have seen Throbbleheads in various record stores, who I always support, but you might want to check out Aggronautix.The site not only features the figures, but also some hard-to-find punk vinyl, DVDs, and assorted items.

I hope Roky Erickson enjoys this latest tribute. My advice is to set your Throbblehead right next to your turntable, so Roky’s head can bounce along to the Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators or Easter Everywhere. Just be careful who you are passing that joint around to.

About Greg Barbrick