tell me things about The Cramps (RIP Lux Interior)

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I liked some of their songs. That Tear It Up video is funny for its use of crowd shots. Beyond that, I guess this is one you leave to the oldies: kitsch-shock-Elvis never meant shit to me. But the more retro-shock perversion, the better, I guess. I'm just wary of having to pay homage over the next 10 years to all the class of 78-85. We did the 60s rock-legacy things in the 90s, and this is no more fun.

paulhw, Thursday, 5 February 2009 01:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

haha I just asked esoj to ban from thread, thanks JJ.

sleeve, Thursday, 5 February 2009 01:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

this is such such such a bummer.

s1ocki, Thursday, 5 February 2009 01:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

We did the 60s rock-legacy things in the 90s, and this is no more fun.

you'll get to pay homage to yr own heroes, give it time.

paper plans (tipsy mothra), Thursday, 5 February 2009 01:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

gonna crank this shit forthwith

goole, Thursday, 5 February 2009 01:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

good quote from Kurt/Yukki of The Repellents, Bullet Lavolta, Kustomized, etc:

He basically embodied everything Great about Rock & Roll: Amazing influences, taste, sense of humor, reverence, irreverence, strength, madness, mysticism, sexuality, wild abandon, excess, living after hours, horror, psychedelia, rockabilly, garage...I am truly a Child of The Cramps.

sleeve, Thursday, 5 February 2009 02:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

x-post. Yeah, sorry if that came across dickish. I guess since the '02 Strummer thing, I'm just saddened by how young some of these people are dying. Anyway, I'll lend this thread back to those who know the music 100000x better than I do.

paulhw, Thursday, 5 February 2009 02:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

I could have sworn the last time he played Chicago he got in trouble for biting someone.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 5 February 2009 02:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

Late to this but -- a damn shame. Another one I should have caught live at some point before it was too late. RIP.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 February 2009 03:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

Rest in peace, Lux.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Thursday, 5 February 2009 03:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP Lux. Glad I got to see you live, WOW.

WmC, Thursday, 5 February 2009 03:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

I repeat...

The most beautiful and scary-looking man in all of rock 'n' roll! Ever!

― Arthur, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (6 years ago)

Also a lovely person. I'm so sad. Poor Ivy.

Arthur, Thursday, 5 February 2009 03:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

some friends of mine went to see them at the Jockey Club in Ohio back in 1986 and the club RAN OUT OF BEER halfway through their set.

sleeve, Thursday, 5 February 2009 03:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah woah. so bummed i never saw them. he and ivy were such a valuable resource at the time for turning people onto stuff - playing charlie jackson on the radio, digging up wild old doo wop etc. i love the cramps covers, like on how to make a monster. hearing him sing i can't hardly stand it, he actually sounds like he looks.

schlump, Thursday, 5 February 2009 04:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

This is terrible. The Cramps show I saw at the Warner Theater in DC in '79 was amazing as were some later gigs I saw. Ian M. and Guy from Fugazi and countless others in the DC scene were all so blown away by their live show. They also did gigs with DC rockabilly cats Tex Rubinowitz and the Bad Boys that impressed some other folks who might not have been considered their prime audience.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 5 February 2009 04:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

from the mtv news obit by James Montgomery and Jem Aswad

Born Erick Lee Purkhiser, Interior started the Cramps in 1972 with guitarist Poison Ivy (born Kristy Wallace, later his wife) — whom, as legend has it, he picked up as a hitchhiker in California. By 1975, they had moved to New York, where they became an integral part of the burgeoning punk scene surrounding CBGBs.

Their music differed from most of the scene's other acts in that it was heavily steeped in camp, with Interior's lyrics frequently drawing from schlocky B-movies, sexual kink and deceptively clever puns. (J.H. Sasfy's liner notes to their debut EP memorably noted: "The Cramps don't pummel and you won't pogo. They ooze; you'll throb.") Sonically, the band drew from blues and rockabilly, and a key element of their sound was the trashy, dueling guitars of Poison Ivy and Bryan Gregory (and later Kid Congo Powers), played with maximal scuzz and minimal drumming.

Because of that — not to mention Interior's deranged, Iggy Pop-inspired onstage antics and deep, sexualized singing voice (which one reviewer described as "the psychosexual werewolf/ Elvis hybrid from hell") — the Cramps are often cited as pioneers of "psychobilly" and "horror rock," and can count bands like the Black Lips, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Reverend Horton Heat, the Horrors and even the White Stripes as their musical progeny.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 5 February 2009 04:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

Everyone's already said it on this thread, but the Cramps were a band who transcended genre simply by opening so many doors. They were my first introduction to a lot of rockabilly, rare r&b etc. And they made everything their own, and in doing so let you know that if you wanted to check out the original, it would probably blow your little teenage mind.

The real fucking shit, the Cramps. Their original drummer, M1r1am, lives in my neighborhood, and I see her walking the dog sometimes. I know she left the band early on, but I can imagine how devasted someone who knew the man closely must be. If we casual fans can be so touched and upset, god only knows what magic the man wrought on his close friends. Not to over-romanticize what was undoubtedly a complicated and often painful life, but you know...

ian, Thursday, 5 February 2009 04:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

They did a lot of great covers -- great songs, great versions -- but originals like "What's Behind the Mask" and "Mystery Plane" deserve a lot of praise, too.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Thursday, 5 February 2009 07:28 (eight years ago) Permalink


blunt, Thursday, 5 February 2009 07:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh man. Another hero gone :-(


StanM, Thursday, 5 February 2009 07:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

Ah, jeez fuck shit.

What a fun sweetheart. What a great.


i, grey, Thursday, 5 February 2009 07:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

Maybe the best frontman I ever saw. RIP Lux.

Inky pinky ponky, father had a donkey (aldo), Thursday, 5 February 2009 09:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP, Elvis Fuckin' Christ. "You gotta live it 'til you're dead . ." and Lux damn well did.

Soukesian, Thursday, 5 February 2009 09:05 (eight years ago) Permalink



post-bloghouse, or maybe post-Merriweather-post-core (latebloomer), Thursday, 5 February 2009 09:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

Really bummed at never having gotten to see 'em. RIP Garbageman.

bear, bear, bear, Thursday, 5 February 2009 09:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh damn. Only ever saw them once when they played the Reading Festival (1990?). Didn't really quite work in the open air, but I do remember some sort of on-stage hijinks going on - didn't Lux eat his own vomit or something? Anyhow, the records really kick arse and I would gladly give my right nipple to have seen them play in some dank subterranean dungeon somewhere. RIP Lux.

Frank Sumatra (NickB), Thursday, 5 February 2009 09:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

the cramps changed my fucking life. so long lux. my thoughts are with ivy.

stirmonster, Thursday, 5 February 2009 09:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

Jesus, not another one! RIP Lux, what a man, love to Ivy.

Vicious Cop Kills Gentle Fool (Tom D.), Thursday, 5 February 2009 09:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

I don't think another band ever turned me on to so much other great stuff. The first time I saw them is still one of the 5 best live shows I ever saw... and it was at a House of Blues! R.I.P./Stay Sick!

Shannon Whirry & the Bad Brains, Thursday, 5 February 2009 10:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'll never forget the image of Lux scaling a wall of speakers while wearing bikini briefs and fishnet stockings. Even their roadie shook his head at the sight.
Last time I saw them was in October 2004 at the Avalon in Boston. Across the street, the Yankees were killing my Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS (but we know how that turned out - heh heh). They kicked off with "Mad Daddy," I believe. Incredible shows, all. RIP.

Jazzbo, Thursday, 5 February 2009 12:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've been listening to them loads over the last week or so and was pleased they were nearing the shortlist of invitees to May's UK ATP. Sad news. RIP Lux.

I remember first hearing Off The Bone when I was ~14. I confess my first reaction was "what in the fuck is this shit?" but it wasn't long before it was a mainstay on my turntable. I'll give it a wee play on the way home tonight.

super shareaholic firefox add (onimo), Thursday, 5 February 2009 13:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yes, I've still got the 3d specs!

Vicious Cop Kills Gentle Fool (Tom D.), Thursday, 5 February 2009 13:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

I remember when the first cramps ep came in to the record store I was working in 1978. even in the wake of punk and no new york it was a shocker -- so crude and propulsive. like it was recorded by cavemen.

search: the re/search book on incredibly strange records, the interview w/lux & ivy nicely lays out their aesthetic. true believers in rock & roll.


m coleman, Thursday, 5 February 2009 13:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Rest in peace, Lux. You were an idol since I got hold of that 3 hours long VHS-tape with Cramps on stage. Shame I'll never experince it live myself.

The Enlightened One (After Rehab), Thursday, 5 February 2009 13:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

As (to paraphrase Billy Connelly) I've recently passed my 50th birthday, and will more recently pass my 53rd, 60 don't seem so old.

My introduction to their campiness was in '82-ish @ the on Broadway in SF (upstairs from the fab-Mab) topping a bill with Tav Falco, and the Gun Club. Goodness me.

I got to see Lux and Ivy @ a meet and greet @ The Vic in Chicago after a gig, maybe 10 years ago or so (time flies etc). I just wanted to see what they looked like up close, and was prepared for them to look old and scary under too much pancake makeup. Actually they both looked quite lovely, healthy, and normal (under the circumstances).

Although I thought they lost a step after Nick Knox left, Ivy blossomed into quite guitar player in the 10+ years between the 1st and last gigs I saw.

We all owe the man a huge debt.

factcheckr, Thursday, 5 February 2009 13:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

search: the re/search book on incredibly strange records, the interview w/lux & ivy nicely lays out their aesthetic.

Yeah, I was thinking about that myself, I need to read that again.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 February 2009 13:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Shit. I forgot to write something about crying 96 tears, from 96 eyes.

factcheckr, Thursday, 5 February 2009 14:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

Aw shit, another one I would've liked to have seen, judging from the "Tear It Up" footage. Let me be the first to make a "this coffin contains a lux interior" joek. (Come on, the dude would've appreciated a little black humour.) Too bad for Poison Ivy - didn't know they were married until now.)


Myonga Vön Bontee, Thursday, 5 February 2009 14:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

Let me be the first to make a "this coffin contains a lux interior" joek.(Come on, the dude would've appreciated a little black humour.)


Vicious Cop Kills Gentle Fool (Tom D.), Thursday, 5 February 2009 14:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

man, i'd forgotten about elvis fucking christ. there should be a cramps song title poll, inc. bend over, i'll drive.

schlump, Thursday, 5 February 2009 14:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP Lux. I saw one Cramps show, late 90's, they were iconic.

Two of my friends got married in a drive-thru Vegas chapel while the New Zealand tape played in the car, exchanging vows to the tune of Can Your Pussy Do The Dog? Easily the coolest wedding music ever.

Came across this Lux DJ'd radio program last night while still hoping the rumor wasn't true:

dad a, Thursday, 5 February 2009 15:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

I saw one Cramps show, late 90's, they were iconic.

same here, saw em on Valentine's Day of all days ... lux did the encore with a dildo strapped to his forehead o_0

great band

dmr, Thursday, 5 February 2009 15:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

Loved them since hearing Bad Music for Bad People (what an awesome fucking title that is) in '86 or so, but didn't get to see them live until probably a decade later - the Flamejob tour. They fucking destroyed the place; one of the best shows I've ever seen, by anybody. Lux climbing the amps with his spandex pants creeping lower and lower, huffing and puffing into the mic he was deep-throating, while Ivy just cranked the riffs out impassively, never even bothering to check up on him. Wild as he was, she knew he knew exactly what he was doing. I still listen to them constantly. Everything through A Date with Elvis is essential, plus the live albums Smell of Female and Rockinnreelininaucklandnewzealand.

unperson, Thursday, 5 February 2009 16:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

loved his intro to that clip at the mental hospital show pitchfork posted:

"Some people say you people are crazy...but I don't know about that. You seem alright to me."


crackers is biters (M@tt He1ges0n), Thursday, 5 February 2009 16:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

do you understand?

Fox Force Five Punchline (sexyDancer), Thursday, 5 February 2009 16:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm going to tell you how / To get on board / You put one foot up / You put another foot up / Put another foot up / And you're on board ...

Vicious Cop Kills Gentle Fool (Tom D.), Thursday, 5 February 2009 16:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

saw em (and his bare ass) once in the '80s. helluva spectacle.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 5 February 2009 17:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

saw them some years ago, Lux went wild over the mic and the speakers.
looked more like 40 than 60.
RIP. the cramps changed the way l listen to music while i was a teenage (werewolf).

Zeno, Thursday, 5 February 2009 17:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

I remember putting on "Human Fly" on the shared stereo in my highschool and another angry student turning it off and saying that it was "the worst music he'd ever heard". I remember being so puzzled by the solo in "TV Set" and the ghoulish way he would cackle into delay. What superheroes! Very sad . . .


Neotropical pygmy squirrel, Thursday, 5 February 2009 17:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

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