Known to those who 'didn't get it' as Erick Lee Purkhiser and born 10/21/46, the man we all know (or at least those of us who 'do get it' know) as Lux Interior passed away this morning from a pre-existing heart condition.
It's probably a miracle he lasted as long as he did but that doesn't numb the sting. Those who know me well know well my dedication to The Cramps. I've almost gotten into fist fights defending their merits and would gladly take a punch or two even now that I'm into my 30s should someone trash talk the titans of trash (there's some irony there, you figure it out). They were one of those few bands that spoke to me, and if that's a black spot on my record, so be it, I really don't care.
Anyone who had the privelage, and I use that term literally, knows that Lux was THE best front man to have ever walked the face of the earth. Whether he wore a leather cat suit, a mini skirt, a funeral suit or nothing at all (his natural hair color was not black) the man had presence and a voice that could rock your ass into the ground and leave it there for dead. The one two punch of his sleazy, swampy vocals and the fuzzed out guitar sludge of his wife, one Poison Ivy, taught this boy at the age of 20 what real rock and roll was all about one cold and substance abused night in Toronto, first year of college. Later that night Jim Zubkavich would get his ass kicked by security, Mark Tolch would let Lux wipe his groin sweat off with his mesh shirt (long story) and I'd sing a duet with Lux to their cover of Hasil Adkins (RIP) SHE SAID. A moment I will NEVER forget. What did she say, Lux? No one ever did answer my question.
I saw them three more times after that. Once more in Toronto and then twice in Portland (once on my birthday where I got into a fight with a dirty hippy... and won). And now I have to content myself with the fact that I got to see them four times and won't get a fifth. This hits me hard. Some people are supposed to be immortal, untouchable if you will. Lux was one of them. And now he's gone, victim to a heart condition, not even something as 'rock n roll' as choking on your own vomit or OD'ing. Not that that would have made him more impressive - the man did what he did better than anyone - but c'mon.... he was tough. A heart condition?
I prefer to think he got killed by a trio of tough talking race car driving big busted women, or maybe a chef bent on paying cannibalistic tribute to his Egytian gods, or better yet, he simply wandered into a swamp somewhere and sunk to the bottom. Any of those would be more appropriate than a f*cking heart condition.
At any rate, I have to go to work in the morning. This has hit me harder than it should have. Alison is asleep while I'm sitting here, drinking (what else?) red wine straight out of the bottle and watching the Cramps play a show in NYC from 1981. I'll sleep when I'm tired. Right now I'm paying tribute to the man whose music introduced me to the films of Russ Meyer, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Marilyn Chambers (I still wanna know what's behind the green door, Lux!) and how made me realize just what a treasure bikini girls with machine guns really are.
R.I.P., Lux. You really were the hottest thing from the north to come out of the south and there are definitely some of us who will always remember you.
I haven't been hit this hard by a 'celebrity' passing since Johnny died.