Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Cramps Lux Interior Dead

Lux Interior (Eric Lee Purkiser) died today (Feb. 4th, 2009) at 4:30 AM in a hospital in Glendale, California of a heart ailment. Lux was one of the first people I met when I moved to New York City in 1977 and although I never knew him well I feel as though I learned a lot from just watching and listening to him. There is no facet of popular culture that hasn't been influenced by the Cramps and although they never got their due in terms of record sales, they changed thousands, maybe millions of lives. He was truly the last of a breed. R.I.P. The above photo was taken by Stephanie Chernokowski in the fall of 1977. I wouldn't get too bummed out just yet, there's a good chance he will rise from the dead sometime soon.

9 comments:

mr. shambolic said...

Rock on forever, Lux. Stay sick!

J.D. King said...

Oh, man... This is sad.

I saw them a few times at CB's and, once, at the Mudd Club (New Year's 1978/79). They were a perfect rock and roll band.

Great photo.

Robert Cook said...

I moved to NYC in 1981, so I missed the Cramps' days at CBGB, but I did first see them at the old (and great!) Peppermint Lounge off Times Square just a few months after I moved here and they were phenomenal! I'll never forget the seemingly foot high stack of hair atop Lux's head when he ambled on stage. I saw them five or so more times subsequently and they were always a riveting act. (I offer the heresy that Lux was a better front man than Iggy!) I think "Garbageman" is one of the great songs in rock and roll, and they were one of the great bands. (I preferred them with a second guitar and no bass, though.)

First Ron Asheton, now Lux, both dead at 60 from heart ailments; are these bad omens for 2009?

The All-Seeing Eye, Jr. said...

I met Lux during the month or so he worked at the Strand (where I worked for three years). He took a liking to me and invited me over to the tiny apartment he and Ivy shared on the upper east side, stuffed with approx. 80,000 records and a jukebox. He was pretty abstemious--at least in those days, dunno about later--but in honor of my visit he bought some beer and scored some weed. Among the many records he played me were the first two Sex Pistols, which I hadn't heard. He was also the first person to tell me about Ray Dennis Steckler, who predeceased Lux by just a few days. I was 22 and didn't know shit. I never saw Lux again--except onstage--after that time, but I've always kept a warm memory.

jack the ripper said...

mine was certainly one of the lives he changed. this is one of the few times a death ,of someone i didn't actually know ,has really depressed me.
although i didn't keep up with their releases after the early 80's, i credit the cramps, along with kicks fanzine, and the hound radio show with sending me down the road to perdition.
the last of a breed...indeed.

Paul Duane said...

Back in, 1996 or 7 I think it was, Russ Meyer came to Dublin and as I was seemingly the only person in Ireland familiar with his films I got to interview him, and ended up having dinner with him (a memorably weird and fun evening). A week later I was walking to work when the words "Lux and Ivy!" came out of my mouth. I hadn't even registered seeing them walk down the street - I just spoke as if in a dream - and Ivy said, pleasantly, "Yes?" I stopped and talked to her for a few minutes - Lux loomed behind her, apparently freezing in the Irish winter weather - and I babbled something about having just spent the evening with Russ Meyer. I wonder whether they believed me. Either way, Ivy proffered her black-lace-gloved hand to be kissed before leaving, and I walked off in a daze. Afterwards I realised that we were around the corner from the house where Sheridan le Fanu (author of seminal lesbo-vampire novel Carmilla) was born, and only a few hundred yards from Bram Stoker's house. I wish I'd thought of taking them on a tour of gothic Dublin, it would have repaid them a little for the hundreds and thousands of hours of pleasure I got from their music and from the movies and musicians (and even the drugs - they were the first people I ever remember talking about ecstasy) they talked about in their interviews. And of course they were the sexiest rock and roll married couple since Johnny and June Carter Cash.

Anonymous said...

Saw The Cramps open for The Ramones at My Fathers Place In L.I. in I think 77. My first punk show. I was lucky to see them many times after that.

The Hound said...

The first show I saw in NYC the night I got here in '77 was the Cramps and the Ramones at CBGB. Talk about getting your $3 worth....

Howie Pyro said...

i just found the newspaper ad for that show...

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