The Cramps have long been one of my favorite bands. From the first moment I heard them (it might have been Return of the Living Dead or Near Dark or one of the myriad punk compilations I ravenously consumed in my pre-teen years...shit I think the first exposure of any sort I had to 'em was a poster on Christian Slater's wall in Gleaming the Cube), I was blown away. My parents were a unified front in never allowing me to purchase any of their tapes or discs when they took me to the record store but I made damn sure to head back out on my own, purchase and then hide those treasures well.
My column in the Daily Cougar, Stay Sick, was named after the first Cramps album I purchased and from them I learned to appreciate a lot of early rockabilly and country classics I might not have discovered otherwise. Those Songs We Taught the Cramps compilations you can find contain a wealth of awesome music to dig on. And even though they would be credited with the genre "psychobilly" Lux and Co. never felt that label truly described their music. However, they sure as shit set a standard all the slap-bass AFI wanna-be's will never near.
Live...they were always ferocious with Lux leading the way. The last time I saw the band perform he seemed to have never lost a step. Like a chicken-fried, high-heeled maniac he strut across the stage, fellating and draining multiple bottles of wine (note: this almost exact description which ran in my review is now you cannot use the term "fellate" at the Daily Cougar) while making you feel lethargic even though you were ragin' like no tomorrow.
To Poison Ivy, Lux's friends, family and fans, Please Kill Yourself offers their collective condolences.