Daily posts from Bee writers on movies, theater, media, fashion, music and pop culture.


Lux Interior, front man for the groundbreaking punk band The Cramps, died today in a Glendale, Calif., hospital due to complications from a pre-existing heart condition, according to a news release issued by the band's publicist. There are conflicting reports about the singer's real age but IMDB.com lists it as 60.

Lux Interior, born Erick Lee Purkhiser, formed The Cramps in 1972 after meeting Kristy Wallace in Sacramento. The two, who lived in Midtown, shared a love for surf rock, rockabilly, B-movies and other bits of so-called "trash culture."

Interior took his name from an old car commercial, and Wallace, who changed her name to Poison Ivy, attributed her new music moniker to a vision she received in a dream. The couple dubbed its music as "pyschobilly" - taking the term from an old Johnny Cash tune.

The Cramps moved to Ohio in 1973 and, in 1976, migrated to downtown Manhattan where they joined a burgeoning punk scene populated by the likes of the Ramones, Blondie and Television.

The band's 30-plus years on the punk scene spawned 14 albums, a seemingly endless tour schedule and an indelible influence on artists such as the Black Lips, the Reverend Horton Heat and Sacramento's own (now-defunct) Groovie Ghoulies.

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September 2009

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