R.I.P Lux Interior, 1948-2009


Today is a sad day indeed. I never intended this website to include obituaries, but one is necessary. Lux Interior, lead singer and co-founder of the Cramps, is dead of a pre-existing heart condition at age 60. He is survived by Poison Ivy, his wife of 37 years, an ungodly enormous record collection, and zillions of shocked fans. A heart condition? Not melamine poisoning?

Many men may lay claim to being the hardest working man in show business, but Mr. Interior is--was-- a strong contender for the punk division. (Properly, I suppose I should say "psychobilly", but the Cramps always disavowed that label and we should respect the wishes of the dead. The living, too.) He put on one hell of a show, leaping around all over the place, bounding onto monitors, flinging himself around, and booming out gloriously filthy lyrics in a gutteral voice that wouldn't have sounded out of place at an Elvis impersonators' convention. No matter the audience or the place, you got your money's worth if you had a Cramps ticket. Fortunately for us all, they toured and toured and toured and then toured some more.

My esteemed compatriot has always treated my Cramps devotion as one of my unfortunate shortcomings, not unlike my tendency to leave multiple tea cups all over the house, but even he was shocked to hear that I would never be able to see one of their shows again. I've spent most of the morning consoling myself by watching YouTube clips scavenged from the depths of the Int0rnet and hanging on to one desperate hope:

I have some of Lux Interior's DNA. No, it's not what you think. He deep-throated the microphone for about 5 minutes during the Warfield Halloween show in 1999, then tore the head off and chucked it into the audience. It landed next to my (20-hole NaNa) boot, and I surreptitiously scooped it up while everyone else went nuts trying to find it. It is one of my most prized possessions, and definitely has throat cell scrapings.

That said, it is no doubt contaminated to all hell. It would also be impossible to recreate the right formative enviroment a la The Boys from Brazil for lil' Lux 2.0. (For one thing, I'd have to clone Joey Ramone, too, and probably Sid Vicious as well.) No doubt Lux Interior would actually be delighted to be cloned with whatever else was stuck to the Warfield floor that night. In fact, it would probably make for a great Cramps song.

I miss him tremendously. Please, wherever you are, have a moment of noise for Lux Interior.

I dig that goddamned rock-and-roll
The kind of stuff that just don't save souls
There's nothing good about it that I know
I dig that goddamned rock-and-roll


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