Vampire Lesbos Are After Me

Posted: February 8, 2009 in The Roper Files
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Lux Interior and Poison Ivy of The Cramps
Now there’s a title guaranteed to get search-engine hits isn’t it?

Okay seriously
Sunday12: 20 pm it’s half a day until I have to go to work and I am faced with a series of challenges.
Someone wants me to write a piece for their site; I sit and stare at the blank “documents” page on my monitor. The Mexican stand-off continues well into the afternoon. I really, really need to clean the house. Or I could grab my keys and simply drive away from it; it could go either way. Decisions, decisions.

The flags are still flying at half-mast here at the File23 compound in memory of Lux Interior and it is also in his memory that I have the Cramps “Psychedelic Jungle” CD cranked up at an appropriate volume on my 120-watt Pioneer receiver and the four speakers that compose the “Twin Towers” of my home entertainment system. A comforting wall of rockabilly chords and soothing distortion provides an appropriate back-drop for Lux Interiors’ Elvis/Iggy Pop/Jethro Bodine vocal treatment of their covers of obscure songs such as “Green Fuz”, “Goo Goo Muck”, “Rockin’ Bones”, “Primitive” , “The Crusher” and “Green Door” Who knows? I may or just may not get anything done today.

Posted Friday morning about Lux Interior and spent the rest of the day proof-reading it.
As a writer I don’t believe in a final draft; I’m never really satisfied with anything I write. I can always, and I do mean always find something I would change on re-reading almost anything I’ve ever written. Maybe re-word this sentence or delete this other sentence over here. That sort of thing.
Looking at my last post I’m seeing things I should have mentioned but just didn’t. Maybe I was too grief-stricken or just too absent-minded, I don’t know.

In case you didn’t gather from the photo of my extensive Cramps bootleg LP collection propped up against and piled on the floor around my 102-year-old RCA Victrola and also the CD autographed by Lux and Poison, I am pretty much what you could call a Cramps fan. In the photo below are some other goodies I should have included including old t-shirts, picture discs and various 45s.

Okay so my secret is out; I loved the Cramps. And as a writer I really couldn’t be satisfied with my last post; I feel like I left out too much.

I saw the Cramps live almost every time they came through my bummer burg, which they seemed to do often. Since like good rock and rollers they didn’t give a rats ass about airplay or what anyone thought of their lyrical content I’m sure they paid for it through a lack of distribution and like so many other bands were forced to tour almost constantly and chase that holy dollar via playing for that door money nightly to packed (and sometimes not-so-packed) venues and peddling their vinyl, CDs and t-shirts on the road.

But if he wasn’t performing rock and roll, Lux could have taught it as a college course. He and Ivy had an extensive collection of rock and roll vinyl mostly garnered from flea markets, garage sales and second-hand stores and they both had an encyclopedic knowledge of old drive-in/art-house/grind-house cinema which infested its way into their song lyrics like a virus.

Only someone with a real love of rock and roll would possess the drive to perform it for thirty years.
When I think about it most of the people I was listening to thirty years ago are either (A) dead or (B) doing something else. Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Wayne Kramer. Davie Allan…yeah the list grows shorter each week of those guys who are still out there doing it each night in those smoky dimly-lit clubs. It takes a very special type of person to do this for duration of time. Then there’s that other list…

GG Allin, Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, Bryon Gregory, Johnny Thunders, Link Wray, Curt Kobain, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Cash and this is by no means a complete list. Down they go…right before our very eyes, one by one. Blink and they’re gone. Next week it’ll be someone else…

You don’t see too many stories on the Internet about the next child prodigy who was just born. No one has any real way of knowing these things; there’s no barometer or gauge to indicate who the next Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix or Lux Interior is going to be. And even if there were it seems celebrity deaths make for better copy. Too bad really; I’m getting tired of writing obituaries, especially for people I like. Never see people I dislike in the obituaries nearly often enough.


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