Daily Dose: ‘If You Have Ghosts’ by Roky Erickson

So the story behind this one involves the gig I went to the other week, which I’ll talk more about at some point because it was a really great night. Anyway, the band I was seeing did a cover of this track, but were professional enough to point out that it was a cover version before they did it (that’s good behaviour right there). I liked the song, so I sought out the original, which is by this chap: Texan psychedelic rock purveyor Roky Erickson, who I have a new found appreciation for. This track is from an album from 1981 called The Evil One (metal sounding or what), and was apparently released with some musical assistance, as the album is credited to Roky Erickson and the Aliens (fantastic band name). This was convenient, since it was around this time that Roky in fact claimed to be an alien (perhaps a tax dodge?), so there was some good fortune in the name. Anyway, this song’s great. It’s actually really catchy despite the barely discernible vocals (at least, at some points). I can’t think of any better songs I’ve heard written and performed by self-confessed aliens, let’s put it that way. It still sounds pretty fresh even now, if you can get past the seventies psych vibe (I know it was released in the eighties, but whatever), and I like his voice, its distinctive Texan drawl actually meshes very well with the music. Next time, same song, different day!


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