God Damn Rock & Roll

 So it looks like Lux finally got that date with Elvis after all. Honestly friends, after mentioning them in passing in the post about Wanda Jackson a little while back I had been considering writing about The Cramps on here – they’ve found their way back into pretty heavy rotation in my listening habits since late last year, a great, great band. I was thinking back a year or three there to a time when a rumour about Lux’s death would do the rounds bi-annually or so. Some even thought he used to start it, although apparently it used to creep him out a bit. I considered startin’ it up again just as a way of writing a bit about them. So when I heard the news of his death, from Randy as it happens, I just thought that old rumour was back again. Friends, I don’t need to tell you how sorry I am to hear that it’s true, or how glad I am I didn’t get around to that post. When The Cramps first popped into my view I saw them as just one of many and it was a while before I realised how unique, and how special they were. Looking back it seems absurd that I could have thought such a thing they were so alien and at odds with the time. I made the mistake of confusing their humour, their sense that rock ‘n’ roll should be fun with a lack of seriousness or belief in what they were doing. Underground and independent music in the 80’s (not yet cursed with the slur ‘alternative’ or the idea that ‘indie’ was a genre not an ethic) often took itself too seriously. People certainly didn’t make live albums in strip clubs. They didn’t tend to call what they were doing rock ‘n’ roll much either. The Cramps were the point where the two youth subcultures of Goth and Psychobilly met and got along for a spell but they were better than both. Blamed for psychobilly in general Lux snarled “They don’t seem very psycho to me” and despite the theatricality there was nothing fake about The Cramps, it was real. For onstage abandon and commitment there’s really only Iggy that you can compare with Lux, “What hath God wrought” indeed. The more interesting bands in those days tended to see punk as a cultural year zero and had set about building a new future but Lux just saw it as the latest manifestation of the primal rock ‘n’ roll he loved and he opened the door to a whole world of almost lost music for a lot of people. So in celebration of his life and music here’s a mix I banged together of a lot of that stuff, bookended by The Cramps themselves, enjoy it. A tracklist’ll be up on the mixes page pretty soon

God Damn Rock & Roll

 

buy  stuff  by The Cramps

~ by stagger lee on February 8, 2009.

3 Responses to “God Damn Rock & Roll”

  1. Many thanks for this mix. A fine trubute to Lux and all the music he championed. Damn fine blog you have here. Cheers

  2. yeahhh tx a lot!!
    Mix linked @ le-gouter.com

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