This past month I have been trying to sort things out, trying to find the words to say, trying to figure it out. Lux's sudden death threw me into a saddened daze that I haven't quite completely recovered from yet. I had just been emailing with Lux and having him gone all of the sudden was hard to grasp. I talked to friends and surfed the web looking for answers, seeing what other people had to say. And I ended up on the official Cramps website where a statement is posted about Lux's passing along with a link to Lux's favorite charity the Best Friends Animal Society. And, in the middle of the page, a link to a guestbook, "Lux's Guestbook" as it's called, where already over 4,600 people have left their messages of praise and condolence. So many people have written so many incredible, beautiful things on there. And while reading some of these I noticed something; besides the fan adulation that many of us have for The Cramps, I couldn't help but also notice the large number of people that had expressed how influential the band was in pointing them towards other older bands and artists, in changing their very lives. Here is a quote from a guy in Germany: "Back in '87...the Cramps, the Goo Goo Muck and the Human Fly unexpectedly blasted my mind and changed my view on music itself." A man in the USA wrote "You changed my life and made me realize it was okay to be different and follow your heart." And so you get the idea. And as I was reading through "Lux's Guestbook" I realized that of all the bands in contemporary music history, the Cramps are probably the single most influential group I know of when it comes to turning people on to other's music! And I believe, in looking back to my younger years, that I am one of those people that got infected by Lux & Ivy's rock-n-roll disease as well. Allow me to 'splain...
In closing I wanna say a few final things without getting too mushy. I am as big a Cramps fan as anybody. We all know Lux the wildman as we've seen onstage. The stripping, slithering, stage-humping amp climber,... the groaning, gurgling mic fellator... But I want to tell you about another side. Folks, this is not just some bullshit "we love you because you're dead" spiel. I've known Lux & Ivy for many years, but never really knew him well until these past several. I am not trying to name drop nor am I trying to sweeten things up as far as what I feel about him because he has passed away. I am telling you, straight up, Lux was a very sweet, smart, encouraging, caring and humble person with a truly savage wit. The fact that his favorite charity is what it is (Best Friends Animal Society) should give you a clue about the kind of person he was. Without getting overly sentimental I will leave it at that. Beyond the wildness of The Cramps which was also a very real side of Lux, he was too, as I knew him these final years, just a really decent guy who left us way too fucking soon. Lux was a one of a kind. I'll miss you buddy.
R.I.P. LUX INTERIOR!
KEEP ON ROCKING IVY!
LONG LIVE THE CRAMPS!
Thanx to Jenny Dayton and Gaytha Watley for allowing me to post their artwork.
LINKS: The Official Cramps Website is at http://www.thecramps.com/
Lux's Guestbook is at http://www.ultraguest.com/sign/1233878285
Best Friends Animal Society is at http://www.bestfriends.org/
Listen to Lux's Purple Knif Radio Show at http://purplezombiedj.blogspot.com/2009/02/knif-of-living-dead.html
Bryan Gregory remembered by Ivy in LA Weekly at http://www.laweekly.com/2001-01-25/music/the-way-he-walked
Artist Jenny Dayton's website is at http://www.dandygelatine.com
Artist Gaytha Watley's website is at http://gaytha-gaytha.blogspot.com/
The Norton Records website is at http://www.nortonrecords.com/