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  • RIP Lux Interior

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on February 7th, 2009 (All posts by )

    You were one of a kind, sir. You cannot be replaced.

    I saw the Cramps five times. It was always MAYHEM. The crowds were scary. Who were those people? The vibe was very no-kidding rock’n’roll madness at an ultra-primal, reptile-brain level. Was it rockabilly? Yes … . But, The Cramps took rockabilly on a thirty year Hellride to places even its maddest and darkest practitioners never dreamed existed in their wildest nightmares. The Cramps were saturated in American music, the real stuff, home-made rockabilly and garage stuff, songs that the world had forgotten and denied and rejected, the voices of howling crazy people from long gone 45s from 1957, Ouija-boarded, their ghosts dragged screeching anew into the smokey glare at the foot of the stage: Lux channelling the undead. The Cramps absolutely lived and breathed in their own, unique universe, crafted from these grave-robbed relics, this detritus of rock and flying saucers and monster movies and scary rubber masks and less reputable sources … . They came to town, and you abandoned your better judgment (“I’ll be tired at work tomorrow … .”). You went. You entered Cramps-world. You did so of your own choice. The Cramps came not one inch to meet you. You … yes, you. Come. Into the cave. Into the smoky cloud behind the Green Door. Breathe the fumes. Step on the crunching layer of broken glass that somehow bestrewed the floor at all their shows. Push closer to the stage. Edge in there, there’s a space. Closer. Be with the Cramps. Drink deeply, drink a lot, keep drinking, down it. The room will spin. It is supposed to do that. Stage center: Lux, green, zombie-like, wiry, towering, clad in red leather or gold lamé like Elvis, flinging his microphone stand with skull-splitting carelessness, climbing the amplifier stack like a doomed, pompadoured King Kong, emerging from the darkness into the stage lights like Dracula, with his dark-eyed bride, with her glossy black fingernals, Ivy, a pillar of ice, fishnet stockings, pristine rockabilly licks blazing, crystalline … Ivy, sneering … .

    I looked at my old emails. This was my status report from the last Cramps show I saw … the last one I will ever see:

    The Cramps. They were insanely good. A hostile alien landing party. They destroyed Planet Earth. I alone lived to tell the tale … .

    They die, our heroes.

    Johnny Ramone, Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer … . Now, Lux.

    We saw them. They walked the Earth. We saw.

    The legends are real. They are all true.

    Tell the others … .


    4 Responses to “RIP Lux Interior”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Wow. That is a shame.

    2. El Gordo Says:

      Beautifully said and very true. I saw them only once, circa 1986 (Date with Elvis tour). Yes, it was that awesome.

    3. Captain Mojo Says:

      Sad news indeed. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to see them live. Now, never will. Shame…

    4. Sean Pelette Says:

      The hottest thing from the north to come out of the south.