Lux Interior Dies at 62

I just heard this, and don’t know what else to say except… shit. Lux died this morning from a pre-existing heart condition, he was 62. I met him a few times through friends and he was incredibly cool, and there’s no arguing how important The Cramps are. He’ll very truly be missed. From MTV.com:

Born Erick Lee Purkhiser, Interior started the Cramps in 1972 with guitarist Poison Ivy (born Kristy Wallace, later his wife) — whom, as legend has it, he picked up as a hitchhiker in California. By 1975, they had moved to New York, where they became an integral part of the burgeoning punk scene surrounding CBGBs.

Their music differed from most of the scene’s other acts in that it was heavily steeped in camp, with Interior’s lyrics frequently drawing from schlocky B-movies, sexual kink and deceptively clever puns. (J.H. Sasfy’s liner notes to their debut EP memorably noted: “The Cramps don’t pummel and you won’t pogo. They ooze; you’ll throb.”) Sonically, the band drew from blues and rockabilly, and a key element of their sound was the trashy, dueling guitars of Poison Ivy and Bryan Gregory (and later Kid Congo Powers), played with maximal scuzz and minimal drumming.

Because of that — not to mention Interior’s deranged, Iggy Pop-inspired onstage antics and deep, sexualized singing voice (which one reviewer described as “the psychosexual werewolf/ Elvis hybrid from hell”) — the Cramps are often cited as pioneers of “psychobilly” and “horror rock,” and can count bands like the Black Lips, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Reverend Horton Heat, the Horrors and even the White Stripes as their musical progeny.

4 Replies to “Lux Interior Dies at 62”

  1. Oh gosh. This is sad. The Crammps (that’s how they used to spell it) blew my brains out when I was a tender, young thing in NYC in the 1970s and 80s. I saw them perform a bunch of time at places like the Mudd Club, Max’s Kansas City and of course CBGB– always amazing shows. Many crazy moons ago…

  2. “I wanna leave a happy memory
    when I go, I wanna leave something
    to let the whole world know,
    that the rock in roll daddy has
    a done passed on, but my bones
    will keep a rockin’ long after I’ve gone

    Roll on
    Rock on
    Raw Bones
    Well I still got all the rythem in these
    Rockin’ Bones

    Well when I die don’t you bury
    me at all, Just nail my bones up on
    the wall, Beneath these bones let
    these words be seen, “This is the
    bloody gears of a
    boppin’ machine…”

    -Lux Interior from the song Rockin’ Bones.

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