Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lux Interior, Cramps Singer, Dead at 62

"Life is short, filled with stuff, don't know what for, aint had enough" - The Cramps, New Kind of Kick

Lux Interior, charismatic singer and founding member of New York City's punk-rockabilly pioneers The Cramps, is looking for kicks in rock'n roll heaven now. Lux died Feb. 4 of an existing heart condition at Glendale Hospital in California. He was 62.

"Lux has been an inspiration and influence to millions of artists and fans around the world. He and wife Poison Ivy's contributions with the Cramps have had an immeasurable impact on modern music. He is a rare icon who will be missed dearly," according to a statement issued by the Cramps media representative.

Lux is survived by his wife of 37 years, Poison Ivy Rorschach (real name Kristy Wallace) with whom he formed The Cramps in 1973. The group’s unique combination of Lux’s reverb drenched vocals over Ivy’s grinding guitar and a rockabilly beat resulted in such cult hits as “Garbageman”, “New Kind of Kick” and “Goo Goo Muck”. Their sound would influence several generations of punk, garage, and “goth” bands including the Gun Club, Sisters of Mercy, My Bloody Valentine to White Stripes.

The Cramps were an integral part of the original New York City punk scene of CBGB and Max's Kansas City, and quickly made a name for themselves with their singular sound and iconography, combining rockabilly and surf music along with campy, horror movie imagery.

One creepy career highlight was the band’s performance for patients at Napa State Mental Hospital in Sacramento, CA which later became a fan favorite when released on video.

Lux, real name Erick Lee Purkhiser, was born October 21, 1946 in Ohio and was falsely rumored to have passed away from a heroin overdose in 1987.

Coincidentally, guitarist Bryan Gregory who was with the band from 1976 to 1980 also died of heart problems, in California in 2001.

According to, The Cramps released fourteen albums. Their latest, 2004's "How To Make a Monster", sold 11,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Their best-selling album, 1984's "Bad Music for Bad People", has sold 95,000 copies.

To read Rolling Stone's rockin' post-mortem, click on...

Photo – Brian Rasic/Rex Features

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