Saturday, February 07, 2009

Passings: Lux Interior, lead singer of The Cramps

Damn, was the party weak.

The swinger's pad sported beige walls and even more beige sounds. Everyone lolled around the bland rooms, sucking on fancy drinks and huffing cocaine like Hoover vacuums, and the soundtrack to the party was buffed to a tiresome, glossy sheen. Rock and roll had feathered its hair, bought itself some quaint matching furniture, and had moved way uptown. The Conceited Jackass Party that comprised the first half of the seventies was like that.

Suddenly the roar of a loud, unmuffler'ed car engine impeded on--then entirely drowned out--the genteel tinkle of expensive cocktail glasses and the inane whirr of Me-Generation small talk. A rusted-up ghost ship of a Cadillac--all fins, oxidation, exhaust plumes filling the air like brimstone byproduct, and deafening growls--ground its way from the street into the immaculately coiffed lawn outside the pad. The front doors of the ride popped open, and two figures emerged amidst the off-white smoke.

Some kind of Va-Voom came outta the passenger side, a flame-haired hellion of a woman with Vegas-stripper curves and the coolly-menacing eyes of a succubus. She carried her cherry-red Stratocaster by the base of its neck as she strode up the wallysville driveway, Stiletto bootheels clacking against the asphalt like the hammer of a massive clock.

But the driver...He made her look like a wallflower.

He didn't seem to exit the car, so much as appear outside of it like a vampire in an old horror flick. The black latex and leather that his lanky body had been poured into etched themselves through the exhaust clouds like India ink streaked against linen. Predatory dark eyes peered though jet-black bangs, and his black boots echoed in syncopation with his hell-woman's footfalls. He walked beside her like he owned the earth.

Soon they both stood in front of the pad's open door, and in a second every bit of activity inside skidded to a halt. Poison Ivy picked up her axe and began coaxing lipstick-smeared Link Wray bottom notes from it. Like really great sex, the noise was sweaty, dirty, and mesmerizing.

Then, like a creature of the walking dead abruptly energized by a lightning bolt, Lux Interior started twitching, gyrating, and shambling in response to the twanging snarl of the six-string. He declaimed in the middle of the audio vortex like a fire-and-brimstone preacher fixing to lose his frock to The Sinister Urge. Elvis and Iggy Pop yelped in horny 4/4 time on the tip of his tongue. A trickster's sneer rose from those marble vampire's cheekbones as he spat out vocal buckshot, animal lust, and insolent rebel cool at the complacent lemmings in that L7 shack with each glottal cough.

That was what The Cramps did during the self-important siesta that was seventies mainstream rock-and-roll, kids. They kept it lean, mean, and full of libidinous joy: Real rock and roll played under a full B-movie moon with no apologies and a twinkle in its dark eye, for three decades.

And now, Lux Interior's gone to the Hereafter; not the quaint puffy-clouded harps-and-halos dentist office of an Afterlife proffered by the bluenoses of this world, but the one bathed in throbbing crimson and populated by the misfits, horndogs, and beautiful degenerates that make life on this chunk of dirt worth living. Some fools'd call it Hell. I'd imagine it's more like Rock and Roll Heaven, especially if Lux is fronting the House Band.


Anonymous said...

I feel really bad for Ivy. Lux is in a better place, he's fine.

Madame Hell said...

Blackie Lagoon: Lux can never be "fine" without his true love Ivy.

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