I first learned about the Cramps the way a lot of kids from my generation learn about weird bands...from watching Beavis and Butthead. I think it was somewhere around the first or second season that "Bikini Girls with Machine Guns" was one of the featured videos. I really can't recall what B & B's dialogue was, but I remember how cool the video was. Go-go dancers, psychedelic colors,drug references in the lyrics, that vintage rock sound...it was fuckin' everything I needed in a rock song. I immediatly went out and bought the record. It wasn't until later that i realized just how many albums the Cramps had, ones that were much better than my first purchase. That was about 15 years ago, and not a month has gone by that I haven't listened to the Cramps since then.
Lux Interior was not only responsible for bringing the sounds of rare 50's and 60's artists to the mainstream, he was also responsible for the birth of the psychobilly movement, and probably a good amount of rockabilly revivalists. We probably wouldn't have acts like Demented Are go or the Meteors if the Cramps didn't exist and Hasil Adkins probably would never have signed to Norton Records.
Not only was Lux a great inspiration to the punk world, he is probably one of the most powerful live performers I have ever seen. I don't think I'll ever get a chance to see a man in his mid-50's, wearing skin-tight pleather climbing a 15 foot stack of speakers again in my life. All of this while into a third bottle of wine. it was quite Impressive.
Lux's death is as important to me as Biggie's was to a kid from Bed-Stuy. For me and thousands, he is our Kurt Cobain. My heart goes out to Poison Ivy, his wife and bandmate of 37 years. I have a hard time dealing with myself after 34 years, I can't imagine living with another person for longer. Damn. Thats impressive.
And now I will celebrate this death as I celebrated his life....with loads of beer.
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