Lux Interior, lead singer for The Cramps... has left the building!
Shocking! Sad! With out Warning! The fallen Voodoo Idol!
I never met the man, I saw him live once, The First Ave in Minneapolis when I lived there. He climbed the stacks and jumped around. They played this hits... ok, not hits cause I don't think they ever topped the charts, but what they did was so much more important, they helped the expand the world of punk, they brought trash and fun b-flick culture into the punk world and helped to launch the obscure 45 RPM collection addiction of many and spear headed the excavation of early primitive rock and roll and it's roots.
For the longest time the real impact of The Cramps and Lux has been obscured and unread. Where they punk? Did they invent Psychobilly? Were they a horror punk band? I think the answer is simply, yes and no to both questions. They were part of the 70's NYC Punk Scene and moved to LA to be part of that scene. They did fuse Rockabilly and Punk... by they did the same thing with country, blues, surf, hillbilly and what ever else happened to come their way. When people talk about Psychobilly these days they mostly are pointing towards the UK and European scene which was started by The Meteors in the UK.... but a loft of those bands also like, listened to and followed The Cramps. Horror Punk has always been a theme and a subject and not so much a Sound, and so yes The Cramps were a horror punk band.... but that's not all they were. I think that at this vantage point that it's safe to finally say that they were the pioneers of what we now call garage punk.
I can say that they have made my life more fun, more interesting, and that 3 of the best CDs that I own are the Songs the Cramps Taught Us comps. I can say that I admire their spirit, their music, and the fact that they stuck with it as long as they could. I realize that I started off talking about Lux Interior and then moved quickly into talking about The Cramps, but to me Lux, along with Ivy, was The Cramps. I think all that's left to say is thank you for the music, for the stories and for heads up on all the great tunes...