Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

One of the most creative and unique bands in the history of rock-and-roll  music was The Cramps.

“Do you want the real thing, or are you just talking?”

What if American conservative preachers in the 1950s were correct? 

What if rock-and-roll music would turn innocent youth into fornicating psychopaths?  Could American kids be turned into foul-mouthed, juvenile delinquents — full of deviant thoughts and lustful carnal desires?

If it so happens that YOU never succumbed … well then you must have never been exposed to the powerful “Psycho-billy” sound of punk-rock legends “The Cramps”.

The Cramps arose in punk-rock’s formative era of the late 1970s. The core of the group was lead singer Lux Interior and lead guitarist Poison Ivy. (All Feminists note: Ms. Ivy is the most under-rated guitarist in rock music history.) The group was not a major commercial success, but they were greatly influential on punk and “goth” groups which came later.

Their songs used campy humor, sexual double-entendres, and eclectic art from horror comics, B-movies and retro science fiction. … and all in good fun! I might argue however, that in comparison to popular music today, there is nothing overtly profane in these songs. The IDEAS contained within, were highly subversive.

Smell of female cover

Cover art for the “Smell of Female” live album.

Musically, they were a combination of punk, rockabilly, surf, and death rock. The Cramps were usually a quartet, but the lineups changed over the years — until Lux Interior’s death in 2009. They did not use a bass guitarist, but instead utilized a “double-fuzz” guitar. Guitarist Poison Ivy’s playing captures the raw surf-guitar-from-hell sound perfectly.  The Cramps invented and defined the “psycho-billy” genre we know today.

They were the real deal. Other “dark” fashion styles and groups came later, but the Cramps were never the brooding, inward-looking misunderstood suicidal poets. (The way other goths and film majors are.) They were horny not brooding. Lux was the drooling, lapping, lecherous teenage werewolf all other horny teenage werewolves wanted to be. You can brood, you faux goth you … meanwhile Lux just F@#$ed your girlfriend (while Ivy watched).

“You ain’t no punk, you PUNK!” … but I will still share this YouTube playlist of the entire “Bad Music for Bad People” album in all its blatant sex-and-drug themed glory.

“… stick out your can, ’cause I’m the Garbage Man …”

If you want “Some New Kind of Kick” view this slide show of The Cramps concert posters and record art.

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