Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lux Interior Passes

Lux Interior, frontman of the Cramps, passed away yesterday.



The Cramps, with their visual mashup of pinup, fetish, and horror, their dirty and incredibly danceable retro/neo/psychobilly music, their unapologetic admiration of perversion and outsiders, and the outrageous stage presences of Lux and his wife, band guitarist Poison Ivy, represent everything that makes burlesque so loveable when it is more than merely glamourous.

They have been a significant influence on and fans of burlesque from way back, and Poison Ivy has always represented the pinup as an active and dangerous force of nature in a way that many burlesque performers have emulated, some without even realizing it.



I actually feel totally inadequate to describe the Cramps and what they have meant to me over the years, but I'd love comments from Cramps fans and friends. I'd especially love to hear from burlesque performers about numbers they do to Cramps music. You tell me yours, I'll tell you mine--I'm not even sure how many times I've used Cramps music for numbers.

My former boyfriend's band, the Toilet Boys, once opened for the Cramps on Halloween, about eight years ago. He and I were backstage just trying not to stare--I've been around famous people all my life, but I was starstruck practically blind. I was wearing a silver latex dress and long silver horns, and Lux came up to me with his 3D camera and asked if he could photograph. I was totally willing to let him steal my soul. I'm sure I wasn't remotely cool. Rocket and I bragged about it all night long.

I've seen the cramps live more times than I can count over the past three decades. When I saw the Cramps live two years ago, they were as fierce as ever.

Goodbye Lux! Sweet madman!

Horrible Prettiness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCQ4QLFl01g

The Velvet Hammer Performs with the Cramps in 1994:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMPiEQwYVp0

And one ofmy alltime favorite performances, The Cramps play at Napa Mental Hospital:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwIQlJsD_Lg

4 comments:

maya said...

i love that lux not only was struck by you but had to capture it.
and i LOVE that you were photographed by lux interior with a 3D camera.
thats like a blessing from the pope--but MUCH MUCH hotter.

the way that you make burlesque Rock in such a beautifully strange way ALWAYS reminded me not just of Ivy, but of The Cramps--the whole thing.

rock stars die--and you go "awwww man. that sucks."
but this one hurt a little more than it shoulda.

thank you for sharing this.

Shrinky Inky said...

The Cramps was the first real show I ever saw, circa 1980 at Club Lingerie in Los Angeles, and like you, i've seen them more times over the last 30 years than I care to count. I've been so sad since I read of Lux's passing and my heart goes out to Ivy and the band.

I love your story about Lux and his photography because I have one too! At a car show in the early 90's he and Ivy were there, and we tried not to stare and be dorks (I got to meet Big Daddy Ed Roth that day too - for him I was a total dweeb!). I was sitting next to my 1955 Purple Pontiac Hearse and Lux asked if he could take MY picture with my car - I liked knowing all these many years that perhaps somewhere in his memorabilia of his life was a photo of me and my treasured hearse.

So long Lux, and thanks for all the fun!

Sydney Hell said...

I grew up in the Kustom Kulture community, loved the Cramps music and yet,
I never got to see them play live...:(

My thoughts go to Poison Ivy, I hope she is holding together ok. How awful to have to say goodbye to someone you spent 30 years of your life with. Hang in there Ivy!

RIP LUX!
Xoxo

Itty Bitty Bang Bang said...

To me the day Lux passed was truly the day the music died. I found out about it right before going on stage and had to hold back the tears. What a devastating loss... he was a one of a kind mad mad musical genius.

It was under a year ago that I debuted on the burlesque stage. When planning my first number it was natural to choose a song from my favorite band of all time and it was an extra special performance for me because of it. "What's Inside a Girl" will always hold a special place in my heart for so many reasons.

And now... on to planning a Lux tribute number.

Thank you for sharing these videos and your memories of The Cramps.