Published Feb 05, 2009Lux Interior, founding member and singer of garage legends the Cramps, passed away yesterday (February 4) when he succumbed to a previously existing heart condition in a Glendale, CA hospital. He was 62.
Born Eric Lee Purkhiser, the ghoulish-looking Interior was known for his flamboyant - he felt comfortable in PVC and pumps - and nihilistic performances that introduced acts of fetishism, violence and fearlessness. He began the Cramps with his wife Poison Ivy Rorschach (real name Kristy Wallace) in 1976, two years after they met when Interior picked up Ivy, as a hitchhiker. Though they emerged out of NYC's punk scene and played CBGB regularly, the Cramps found themselves forging a new sound out of garage, punk, surf and rockabilly using elements of horror, trash, gender-bending and sci-fi, which they called "psychobilly," a term they arguably coined.
Known for their revolving door line-up, Interior and Rorschach witnessed many members come and go throughout the last 33 years but managed to create some of the most stirring music in that time, namely the 1981 classic Psychedelic Jungle and 1983's essential live album, Smell of Female. However, they left their mark with such unforgettable hits as "Goo Goo Muck," "The Way I Walk," "Bikini Girls With Machine Guns," "Ultra Twist" and their signature tune, "Human Fly."
Their publicist released a statement yesterday, reading: "Lux was a fearless front-man who transformed every stage he stepped on into a place of passion, abandon and true freedom. He is a rare icon who will be missed dearly."
The Cramps live at the Napa State Mental Hospital
The Cramps "Human Fly"