Friday Tunes: The Cramps


Originally published at:


Just dropped by to say I love the Cramps!


Bad music for bad people.


I was about that age when I got into the Cramps too, because I saw Bad Music for Bad People at the record store and it looked cool. I only ever got to see them once (early 90s) but it was definitely one of my favourite shows ever.


Cramps = happy. I saw them once in the mid 90s. They were nuts. It was great.


I’ll always remember Beavis and Butthead’s reaction to “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” as one of their most enthusiastic.
There is an entire chapter of the RE:Search record collectors book about Lux and Ivy. They recounted how, for just one example, they heard that either Stax or Sun records was going out of business and liquidating, so they drove their old clunker station wagon from California right to the warehouse in Memphis and loaded it completely full of records and drove back. They said it weighed so much that it fully compressed the suspension. I did some digs in my day, but jeezis cripes.
At some point, Lux and Ivy showcased a lot of their collection on some WFMU broadcasts, and those selections are available on the internet now. The ratio of the level of rocking vs age vs obscurity is just off the chart. Highly recommended. links to MP3s within:



I only learned last week this is a cover.


anybody see the Napa mental hospital show footage? Beautiful in its genuine humanity which is not the vibe you get watching the Sex Pistols or (mostly) throbbing gritsles SF videos of the era… As much as I love bauhaus when I get horny I play the Cramps and when I listen to the Cramps I get horny and usually get laid


Actually, I have it here on DVD. Great footage indeed.

Apparently, Lux’s death mas much more gruesome than the simplified statement of ‘heart failure’. So sad, really.

Here’s a great little interview of Poison Ivy, which I once bookmarked, where she talk about here gear and other stuff:


You are a gentleman and a scholar… And this will be on my commute shuffle play for the next few months or so.


I made dinner for them once when I briefly worked at Slim’s in San Francisco in the early 90’s. Absolutely the nicest people.


A surprising number of their songs are covers, and a lot of the originals are great.


you’ll dig it the most, baby


Saw them in London in 1980 when Bryan Gregory was still playing his polka-dot flying V for them.

AMAZING gig. A really pure noise.

Ended up crawling around on stage with Lux, who was down to his underpants by that stage.


The gig was sold out, we couldn’t get a ticket, so we got a kid to open a toilet window and we climbed in… for free. King’s College, London.

AND - that’s where I first met Shane MacGowan of the Pogues. See

Dave Vanian of the Damned was also at the gig - another gentleman of taste.

Oh. And the Fall - YES, THE FALL - were the support act.

I popped down to Rough Trade the next day - a Saturday - and bought the Human FLY ep.

Oh yes.


So many great vid and performances to pick from, but this one from “Urgh! A Music War” stands out. The way he defiles the mic is just insane.



'84 or so for me. They were at a Chinese restaurant that, to my knowledge, never had another show either before or since. I didn’t know anyone else that went. They only played for about 20 min.
It was fun though.


creature from the Black Leather Lagoon!


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