Plans for a biopic of rock casualty Roky Erickson, lead singer of the 13th Floor Elevators, have long been in the works, and those plans will only be accelerated by You're Gonna Miss Me, an intriguing new documentary that chronicles Erickson's fall from a place of note in the 60s psychedelic rock scene in Austin -- the Elevators were close with Janis Joplin's circle -- into a morass of drug and legal troubles, confinement in a nuthouse and a lifelong losing battle with schizophrenia. Needless to say, Erickson is a pretty good example of a man whose greatest enemy is himself, but a close second is his gruesome mother, who we see living with him in present-day footage, in a Texas flophouse overflowing with cats, garbage, endless knicknacks and useless mail. When first seen, the two of them are filling out a Publisher's Clearing House form so that they can collect their prize. Roky, decked out in a tennis visor and a wrinkly shirt, is later seen fiddling with a Mr. Potato Head bank that's probably been lying around for thirty years.
Erickson's 'value' as a living piece of rock history, though no longer apparent to him, is still of interest to others. We hear from talking heads like Kurt Loder and rock critic Byron Coley, and early on we see a British rock writer actually visiting Roky at his house of horrors and trying to communicate with him, to absolutely no avail. When asked "Can you play us a tune?" Roky responds "Well, I'd like a piano, but they are gargantuan, aren't they?" Cut to a shot of the writer outside, saying his goodbyes. Roky's younger brother Sumner is also acutely aware of who his brother is, or was, and throughout the film we see him battling to wrest legal guardianship of Roky away from the mother. The stated reason, and it's a good one, is that the mother does nothing positive for Roky's health, and even discourages him from taking schizophrenia medication. However, it's also clear that if Roky wasn't Roky, Sumner wouldn't be trying as hard. At one point, he notes that he spoke with his brother maybe twice during the 90s.