I am very sad.
The Cramps were a huge part of my teenage years.
I only got to see them live a handful of times, but I have always loved their music.
Cramps Frontman Lux Interior R.I.P. [Pitchfork]
Even when I eventually got tired of conventional rock music, per
se, I really appreciated Lux and Ivy’s devotion to obscure mutant rock
and roll and obsessive record collecting.
Lux was like Screaming Jay Hawkins, The Mad Daddy (or Ghoulardi – take your pick), Iggy and countless wild Southern rockabilly rebels all rolled into one being. He was Frank N. Furter’s white trash cousin; Lux and Ivy came from their own damn planet. The Cramps never lost sight of Rock music’s hillbilly roots, even as rock critics attempt to sweep that fact under a rug. Their music was far from being a corn-ball nostalgia trip; they played music as if the 60’s never happened and inhabited an alternate reality where Elvis may have died, but he never got bloated and old.
Save It – Off The Bone (released in the US as Bad Music for Bad People)
Surfin’ Dead – Return of the Living Dead OST
But to assuage your grief, here’s a little tidbit: It’s a collection known as The Purple Knif Show, where Lux spun records on some Hollywood radio station in 1984. He channels countless late-night DJs (he grew up in 1950’s Cleveland, remember) and -as mentioned above – the inimitable Ghoulardi, in his manic, over the top, reverb drenched announcing.
You also get not only a sense of the breadth and length of Lux and Ivy’s record collection but also an idea as to what informed their repertoire.
You can read the tracklisting at Discogs here.