SONGS THE CRAMPS TAUGHT ME.
Barry Goub!er | New Orleans, LA | 02/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I suppose it's old news about Lux Interior dying 50-years-and-a-day after Buddy Holly, but I'd be mistaken to not put in a word about what the guy's influence meant to me.
The Cramps are, without a doubt, one of the big influences on my life, a fact that becomes clearer as I get older. I'm not just talking about music, though about 90 percent of my records are due to their bad guidance. Their ability to take the best elements of early Rock 'n' Roll and make it completely their own freed me and a lot of others from what C.S. Lewis once called "chronological snobbery": the mindset that "new" is better, and that contemporary culture trumps all other considerations. That point really began to be made when I started hearing the originals of the songs The Cramps covered: that bloodcurdling scream The Phantom lets out at the beginning of "Love Me"? Sorry, college boy, but REM ain't gonna cut it after that.
It was Lux and Ivy that showed that the truly great stuff stands outside human constructs like "eras" and "decades", that you don't have to have your tastes dictated by whatever year you were born or graduated high school. That's why their influence spreads far beyond just music, and it also explains why rock critics, whose rock-music-as-art-form partyline The Cramps made so much confetti of, never understood them.
Well, I got it. So did plenty of others with no use for the ossified iconography of garbage like The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. We all are in his debt, even if we live another 100 years.
Here's to you, Lux. When you're ready to get that stake out of your heart and go on another rampage, gimmie a buzz."