Lux Interior (1946 to 2009)
It just gets worse and worse and worse. 2009 began in appalling manner with the passing of Stooges guitar-chugger Ron Asheton and now we can add Cramps frontman Lux Interior (born Erick Purkhiser) to that ever-expanding list of deceased entertainers. Lux was taken by a pre-existing heart condition and was 62 years old.
Since meeting in 1972, Lux Interior and his flame-haired partner Poison Ivy have shared their passion for 50s rock 'n' roll and B-movie shtick in the unruly shape of The Cramps. Numerous line-up changes couldn't dilute the unpolished swagger of a Cramps tune and, although wearing their influences on their sleeves, in '70s America there were precious few bands as daring and enthusiastic as The Cramps. After all not many acts can say they've performed in a mental hospital but that's exactly what they did in 1978 as is evidenced by the video "Live at Napa State Mental Hospital".
Throughout the years, Lux and Ivy - who remained a married couple until Lux's death - never lost that youthful energy and morbid sense of humour that distinguished them from the also-rans of the psychobilly scene.
On "Surfin' Dead", Lux hollered "There's nothing on the radio when you're dead". Although eerily prophetic, it's just a shame that one of the liveliest lead singers of all time will now be tearing it up from beyond the grave.
Author: Peter McGee
February 6, 2009
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