Today, Lux Interior, lead singer for the band The Cramps, died (fine LAT story here). ohio native erick purkhiser became part of the CBGB punk scene and moved to california. (when i bought a house four years ago i realized i lived one street over from him and cramps guitarist poison ivy — on the edge, natch, of one of LA’s biggest cemeteries) … the cramps combined punk, camp, rockabilly, surf guitar, sex, horror movie shtick and bizarre popcult references — it was screamin’ jay hawkins meets the ventures with punk-rock force. here they are with “tear it up.”
lux reportedly died of “a preexisting heart condition” at the age of either 60 or 62.
they cramps were among the first bands i discovered as a teenager moving on from my obsession with the beatles and dylan into a harder-edged and more contemporary sound… tho the world of the cramps was never my world. i remember the excellent liner notes to either “gravest hits” or “songs the lord taught us,” which described the band’s germinating in “the cold blue rays of 50s television,” or something. they captured the weird irony i came to love about the LA scene.
lux, RIP, we hardly knew ya!!
Photo credit Flickr user 17