Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 4th February!
In 2009, Lux Interior, (Erick Lee Purkhiser) singer and founding member of The Cramps died aged 62. He met his wife (better known as Poison Ivy, a.k.a. Ivy Rorschach), in Sacramento in 1972, when he and a friend picked her up when she was hitchhiking. The couple later founded The Cramps.
On the 21st October 1946 Mr. Erick Lee Purkhiser alias Lux Interior was born in Akron, Ohio. He was singer and founding member of the the legendary Psychobilly-Rock’n’Roll band The Cramps. With his wife Kristy Marlana Wallace alias Poison Ivy Rorschach on guitar, the group started in 1976 and disbanded after Lux’s death in 2009.
Back in 1972 Lux met his future wife Kristy in Sacramento. The couple moved from California to Ohio and then to New York. In 1975 the duo was part of the flourishing punk scene. In April 1976 they founded The Cramps with Bryan Gregory on guitar and Pam Ballam on drums. Their performances were always very intense by an energetic frontman, who dressed also in high heels. Another trademark of The Cramps were their special cover versions of rare and obscure songs from the Fifties and Sixties.
In 1979 the EP “Gravest Hits” featuring the songs “Human Fly” and the cover versions of “Domino” (also recorded by Roy Orbison), “The Way I walk” (Jack Scott), “Surfin’ Bird” (The Trashmen) and “Lonesome Town” (Ricky Nelson) was released. One year later the debut album “Songs the Lord taught us” hit the stores. In 1981 the LP “Psychedelic Jungle” with new second guitarist, Kid Congo Powers, was recorded. Two years later the live album “Smell of Female” followed. The opening track “Thee Most Exalted Potentate of Love” was later covered by Queens Of The Stone Age for the EP “Stone Age Compilation” (2004).
With “A Date with Elvis” (1986) the fanbase became bigger and bigger. Over 250,000 copies were sold in Europe. Over the years the studio LPs “Stay Sick” (1990), “Look Mom, No Head” (1991), “Flamejob” (1994), “Big Beat from Badsville” (1997) and “Fiends of Dope Island” (2003) were released. Also some compilations and the live album “Rockin n Reelin in Auckland New Zealand XXX” (1987) hit the stores.
Beside Lux and Poison Ivy, the line up changed a lot. The final studio album “Fiends of Dope Island” came out on the their own label Vengeance Records and in 2006 The Cramps played their last shows. On 4th February 2009 Lux Interior passed away. He died at the Glendale Memorial Hospital after an aoritc dissection. He was 62 years old.