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Cramps Frontman Lux Interior Passes Away

By Craig Williams,
Saturday, February 7, 2009 @ 10:02 AM


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In a statement released by the band’s publicist:

Punk-rock icon Lux Interior, who was the wild frontman of psychobilly pioneers the Cramps, passed away due to an existing heart condition at Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, California at 4:30 AM PST on Febriary 4, 2009...

Interior, born Erick Lee Purkhiser, was 62 and is survived by his wife of 37 years, Cramps guitarist Kristy “Poison Ivy Rorschach” Wallace...

Lux was an inspiration and influence to millions of artists and fans around the world...his onstage force, strutting and provoking as his band’s horror-surf guitars reverberated behind him and his groovy bark, influenced legions of punks to come...

He and wife Poison Ivy’s contributions with The Cramps have had an immeasurable impact on modern music...

Their distinct take on rockabilly and surf along with their midnight movie imagery reminded all just how exciting, dangerous, vital and sexy rock and roll should be and has spawned entire subcultures...
Lux was a fearless frontman who transformed every stage he stepped on into a place of passion, abandon, and true freedom. He was a rare icon who will be missed dearly...

The Cramps first made their mark in the mid-1970s, when Interior, Poison Ivy and a revolving door rhythm section frequented the stages at famed New York punk clubs like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City alongside artists like Television, the Ramones, Blondie and Patti Smith.

The band eventually recruited drummer Nick Knox in 1977, who remained with the group until 1991. During those years, the Cramps were credited with creating both the term and musical style “psychobilly,” a synthesis of punk rock and rockabilly that was raw and over the top. Their lyrics examined American culture at its most campy, often citing bad jokes, science fiction films and sexual fetishes. The Cramps went on to record singles and signed to I.R.S. Records in 1977...but it was the stage where the band truly made its name, with Interior grabbing the spotlight with Iggy Pop-esque antics...

The band famously played a free show for the patients at the California State Mental Hospital in 1978, which was probably their perfect venue. Interior screamed from the stage “Somebody told me you people are crazy, but I’m not so sure about that. You seem to be all right to me”...

The Cramps released classics like 1979’s “Songs the Lord Taught Us” and 1981’s “Psychedelic Jungle”. The group’s last album of new material was 2003’s “Fiends of Dope Island”...
Over the years, the Cramps’ music has been covered by the Jesus & Mary Chain, Queens of the Stone Age and the countless more bands the Cramps inspired.

The family requests that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.


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