Friday, February 06, 2009

In Praise of The Cramps: Lux Interior R.I.P.

John Floyd writes, in response to a question about what made The Cramps great:

Jesus, where do I start? They cut their first and best records in Memphis, and I read about them at the time in the local paper and bought the records the minute I could find them (Gravest Hits was the first I owned; the original singles collected on that record were sold out by the time I knew about them) and when I heard them, they ripped off my head. It was everything I grew up hearing, thanks to parents who loved rockabilly without knowing the music even had a name; my own interest in punk rock and the Memphis band Panther Burns, who were doing things similar to the Cramps' early work, had never met so definitively for me, and it all made sense. So the Cramps, for me, were rock and roll, forget about prefixes. I learned so much from them, through their ultra-obscure covers and the songs and artists they talked about in early interviews -- it was like a history lesson funneled through punk-rock noise, and that was right up my alley at the time, and probably still is. The Cramps helped to make me a rock and roll fanatic, one of those termites who cares about Link Wray outtakes and the Sonics and just how glorious weird rock and roll can be sometimes. They haven't made a record I've cared about since Smell of Female, which must be from '83 at the latest, but what they did to me as a fan is immeasurable. I've loved the Cramps like I've loved the most important music in my life, and even though he farted off the last 30 or so of his, musically speaking, I hate that Lux Interior doesn't have one anymore.

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Anonymous Mark Hagen said...

yes yes yes yes....that's exactly it! or in other words: my own experience almost exactly, except I was living in Scotland!

11:19 AM  

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