Thursday, February 5, 2009

I don't remember the first time I heard The Cramps, but I do remember I fell in love right away. It could possibly be with Surfin' Dead in Return of the Living Dead, or countless other places. What made this band so special were the two who started it all Lux Interior and the lovely Poison Ivy. They met and their love of B-horror/Sci-Fi and music meant they could only do one thing - start a band. Many credit them for starting the Psychobilly genre, when they do not really fit in that category themselves, but every bass slappin' psycho band out there owes a lot to The Cramps. They mixed rockabilly, surf, garage and punk with Lux's wonderfully demented voice and created something that can never be replicated.

I was working today out of town and on the way home I decided to check my Twitter. While scrolling through the posts my eye was caught by one stating Lux's passing early this morning (2/4). My heart sank. Being the horror and B-movie junkie that I am having a band like The Cramps seemed like something made just for me, even though they formed a few years before I was born. Everything about them was a natural fit in my life. Any band who after seeing Johnny Cash play for "his people" in prisons decided they could do that to, only at a mental institution, is great in my book.


A few years ago I was lucky enough to see them live. For a guy in his mid-50's, Lux bounced around the stage in make-up and tight leather performing like a teenager. Not only was he great at singing, his stage presence was something of awe (not to mention he drank several bottles of wine during the show). It has ranked as one of the best shows I've ever seen since that night and has yet to be rivaled.

For a long time they have been amongst my favorite bands of all time, one I can listen to anytime. As I listen to them there is a bit of sadness, not only for the loss of an icon, but for Ivy who has been with him for the last 30+ years. Thank you Lux for the amazing music you left behind for generations past, present and future to discover and enjoy. You will be missed.


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