Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Lux Interior – An Appreciation

As pretty much everybody knows by now, Erick Lee Purkhiser AKA Lux Interior, lead singer of the Cramps died this past Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 62.

 

The Cramps made their mark in the punk scene in the late 70s, which was their moment. Backed by his wife-to-be Poison Ivy’s percussive, clanging, macabre retro guitar, Lux Interior’s mad Elvis persona was completely in touch with the original menace of 50s music, taking it completely over the top. Thousands of punkabilly and ghoulabilly bands followed in their wake; none could ever match the Cramps in intensity or flat-out imagination. Lux Interior was fearless, funny and a consummate showman, a wild live performer who would vault amplifiers, stick the microphone in his mouth, assail the audience or simply stumble around in what appeared to be a drug-induced stupor but which was more likely than not a carefully contrived part of the act. He took an iconic American persona, twisted it inside out and made it forever his own. There may have been a lot of kitsch associated with him but he was anything but a kitschy performer. There will never be another like him.

February 7, 2009 - Posted by | Culture, Music, music, concert, obituary | , , ,

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