The Cramps won't be on any metal best-of lists, but one listen to White Zombie, Eagles of Death Metal or (unfortunately) Nashville Pussy exclaims the influence of Lux Interior, Poison Ivy and the band's ever-rotating rhythm section. Like the Misfits, the Cramps wrote simple, sleazy tunes about sex, sci-fi, sex, horror, sex, drugs, sex, white trash and sex. This inspired legions of psychobilly bands to learn two chords and got countless metal bands to schlock up their image.
But unlike the Misfits, the Cramps really sounded like they really could've dragged themselves from the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance, maybe if John Waters had directed Back to the Future. Lux Interior, who passed away this week at an uncertain age, reinvented '50s prom music into something Sex Pistols fans could get behind. He emphasized early rock's seedy side, turned up the volume and hyperventilated through every performance until even the most self-serious punk could crack a smile.
"Goo Goo Muck"
"Naked Girl Falling Down the Stairs"
Performance at Napa Mental Hospital
Lux Interior wasn't the kind of guy you'd bring home to Mom, but if he were, we'd never have Bad Music for Bad People. Rest in peace, sicko.