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‘Robot Monster,’ Lux Interior’s favorite B movie, a bad movie for bad people
06:44 am


The Cramps
Robot Monster

“At what point on the graph do ‘must’ and ‘cannot’ meet?”
KDOC, the Orange County station that broadcast Wally George’s The Hot Seat, was also home to a wonderful show with even lower production values than Wally’s called Request Video. After school, I would rush to the TV to watch Request Video, hoping to catch another glimpse of the Ramones.

The Cramps paid a visit to Request Video before one of their early 90s shows at the Hollywood Palladium, and their wide-ranging discussion with host Gia DeSantis touched on many things that are still of vital importance to your life, such as the size of Lux’s pumps, the band’s makeup tips, and Lux and Ivy’s favorite B movies. While Ivy picked the classic Gun Crazy, Lux named this appalling 1953 movie about a robot from the moon who looks like a gorilla wearing a diver’s helmet. Its mission, to exterminate all human beings on Earth, doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after you’ve spent a few minutes with the cast.

Lux expanded on his love for Robot Monster in a 1995 interview with Phoenix New Times:

“I’m interested in Jungian archetypes, what it is that makes people want to see movies about flying saucers and alien invasions. I’m interested why someone would write a film like Robot Monster [a notoriously bad Fifties piece featuring a monster that was essentially a gorilla with a deep-sea-diving helmet for a head]. And why a lot of people would write films that have so much in common—Robot Monster, Plan 9 From Outer Space, you name it, all those old horror movies.

“I think it has something to do with the collective unconscious. I feel like watching these films to be just like dream interpretations. When I see an old horror movie, it really strikes a chord in me, and it’s because I’m connected to the same thing that the person who wrote the movie is connected to.”

Lux pauses briefly, then provides a summation: “I think the reason I do things is a lot like the same reason Johnny Rotten did what he did, or the same reason Marcel Duchamp did the things he did. We’re all connected together in one aspect of consciousness.”


Ro-Man’s hideout in Griffith Park
Screenwriter Wyott Ordung talks about working on Robot Monster in the book 3-D Revolution: The History of Modern Stereoscopic Cinema. Though he doesn’t shed much light on Lux’s concerns, he does relate that the movie’s reception nearly proved fatal for him and director Phil Tucker:

When I went to see the picture, I was sitting in the Hollywood Paramount [theater]. It’s funny now—it wasn’t funny then—and as I’m walking out of the theater the manager of the popcorn stand says “We should skin the writer alive.” [...] The next thing I know Phil Tucker tried to commit suicide. There was a picture of him in the Los Angeles Mirror on the front page. He was lying there clutching the cans of film. Was it because of the film? I think he wanted publicity. That’s what I think. Young genius thinks he made a great picture for $45,000. People are not going to the movie and so on and he ended up in Camarillo [State Mental Hospital].

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Spend the night in a Cramps-themed trailer in the Mojave Desert
08:04 am


The Cramps

There’s a motel in Joshua Tree called Hicksville Trailer Palace, and it’s one of those Southern California attractions that makes me wish I had the late Huell Howser‘s job, if not his permanent expression of incredulity. I can almost hear Huell’s voice rising in astonishment as I review the rooms: a gypsy wagon that was used in Big Top Pee-Wee, an Airstream done up like a 70s bachelor pad, a frontier-type trailer with a wooden front porch, and a zombie-themed cabin, among others. There are amenities, too: a saltwater pool, miniature golf, a teepee, a recording studio, a film and video editing room, and something called the “Corn Hole” about which I am afraid to ask.

What really piques my interest in Hicksville, though, is its homage to the Cramps. “The Lux” is decked out in rockabilly/tiki/horror style, and while “tasteful” definitely isn’t the word I’m looking for, it looks like the designer knew what he or she was doing. I have a feeling that if they let me spend just one night in this place, which has a diner’s booth and on-table jukebox, a black and white TV that only shows horror movies, and a few attractive Cramps posters, I might start to talk loudly about squatter’s rights down at the Corn Hole.

Below, in a clip from MTV’s Extreme Cribs (ick), the owner of Hicksville Trailer Palace gives you a tour of the Lux at 1:16.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘She Said’: The Cramps versus Hasil Adkins
01:43 pm


The Cramps
Hasil Adkins

One of the most beloved numbers in all the Cramps’ repertoire will always be their crazed cover of rockabilly psycho Hasil Adkins’ berserk “She Said.”  The song tells the tale of the frightening aftermath of a drunken one-night stand:

Why’s don’t I tell you what it is?
I wen’ out last nigh’ and I got messed up
When I woke up this mornin’
Shoulda seen what I had inna bed wi’ me
She comes up at me outta the bed
Pull her hair down the eye
Looks to me like a dyin’ can of that commodity meat

Like a dyin’ can of that commodity meat???

Pure poetry. William Shakespeare himself couldn’t have written those words together, one after another, if he’d have wanted to (which I doubt very much that he would’ve wanted to, but that’s beside the point entirely).

Adkins trained himself to be a one-man band due to an assumption he made as a child that only the credited musician (like Hank Williams, one of his idols) must have played all the instruments on their records, hence his uniquely hillbilly caveman performing style where he played several instruments—usually guitar, drums, harmonica, toy horns and some kind of homemade backwoods rhythm pole—simultaneously. The Haze’s subject matter tended to lean towards topics of meat (especially chicken), fucking and murder or all three (“No More Hot Dogs” is about decapitating his girlfriend and mounting her head like a hunting trophy). Despite being active musically (in an improvised home studio) since the late 1950s, his records were released only on the most microscopic of local West Virginia indie labels (or self-released) and he really wasn’t much of a “name” until the Cramps raised his profile in the early 80s by recording “She Said” and when (former Cramps drummer) Miriam Linna and Billy Miller brought his music to greater prominence in the late 80s and early 90s via their Norton Records label.

I’ve seen Hasil Adkins play live a few times, and I even got a chance to meet him in 1999. It was a memorable encounter: The scene was the Charles Theater in Baltimore where Rest in Pieces Robert Pejo’s documentary about painter Joe Coleman (which Hasil figures in prominently) was being screened.  I was in the projectionist’s booth with Joe, his then fiancée Whitney Ward, some people who worked at the theater and John Waters and Mary Vivian Pearce. At one point Hasil arrived with a guitar, various cases and a rucksack on his back. He was a one man “commotion” and clearly not entirely a “well” person (like you could easily picture him going completely psycho without warning. “Unmedicated” is the word I’m looking for). Trying to be friendly, I mentioned to him that I, too, was a West Virginia native, but this didn’t seem to impress him at all. I mentioned, too, that I’d seem him at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ, but this also failed to impress him—he just balefully glared at me like “yeah whatever, preppy” whenever I tried to make conversation—so I just stopped trying.

Then he told a story about how someone he knew in West Virginia had ripped off an entire truckload of gallon vodka bottles and brought all of this illegal hooch over to Hasil’s house to hide. The way he told the story, there were a few hundred gallons of cheap hooch and he’d drunk every last drop of it.

Then he shrugged, shook his head and said regretfully “...but I don’t drink anymore.”

Forgetting for a moment my earlier chilly reception, I innocently asked the reason he stopped drinking—I was merely curious—whereupon he fixed me with an evil stare, like I was a complete idiot, and slowly shouted (directly in my face) “BECAUSE. I. DRANK. IT. ALL!”

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Cramps’ long-lost video for ‘Human Fly’ FOUND!!!

The story goes that in 1978, the Cramps made a video, filmed by Alex de Laszlo, for their song “Human Fly,” that featured singer Lux Interior (RIP 2009) in a classic movie-monster transformation scene—but it seemed like nobody saw it, or could even prove it existed. A close perusal of Thomas Owen Sheridan’s collection of contemporary zine articles about the band—itself a rare Cramps collectible—yielded exactly one reference to its existence.

Seriously, that’s it.

The 1990 book Wild Wild World of the Cramps, by Ian Johnston, who also wrote the book on Nick Cave, offered this:

In May, The Cramps made their first tentative steps into the world of promotional video. A friend who was studying at film school suggested his services and a short three-minute film, based on the song ‘Human Fly’ was produced. The film was made for under $200 and featured Lux painfully transforming into a fly. This artefact is now so rare that even Lux and Ivy do not have a copy of the film.

In 2011, an amazing blog post by Kogar Theswingingape proffered actual screen caps and a scene-by-scene breakdown, but the video itself wasn’t posted.

The film opens with a countdown and a placard with: Vengeance Productions Presents a Film by Alex de Laszlo. It immediately cuts to a shot of Ivy walking down the street, transistor radio glued to her ear (The Way I Walk is playing), blowing bubbles and holding a glass bottle coke. Cut to a somber looking Lux in a smoking jacket sitting on what appears to be a leopard print sofa. He’s prepping a huge hypodermic needle by lighting a match and holding it under the needle.

Lux then gathers up some flesh from around his throat and slowly injects himself.

The result is immediate; he begins a transformation!


Well, it seems that a couple of months ago, the actual film, AT LONG LAST, after decades of existing as little more than a tantalizing rumor, finally and with little fanfare found its way to YouTube. It’s amazing that this sine qua non of Cramps ephemera has been online for months with such a paltry view-count. Let’s ramp those numbers up a bit, shall we?

This post is dedicated to the memory of “Brother Ed” Wille, who probably had this on an 8MM reel or something. Many thanks to Shawn Swagerty for alerting me to this find.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
The Cramps ‘Human Fly’ opera version
The Cramps want to know: ‘Can Your Pussy do the Dog?’

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Tales from the Crypt’ starring the Cramps, 1980
12:08 pm


The Cramps

Given the Cramps’ love of trashy Americana and vintage monster movies—witness their adoption of Cleveland’s legendary schlock-horror TV host Ghoulardi—it perhaps isn’t so surprising to stumble across this fabulous photo spread they did for The Face in the July 1980 issue. Give The Face credit: The Cramps had been bouncing around for a while but their only LP to that point, Songs the Lord Taught Us, had come out in May. The pictures repurpose lines from the Cramps’ song “Voodoo Idol,” which didn’t even make it onto an album until a year later, when their I.R.S. debut Psychedelic Jungle came out. The cover of the issue had Bryan Ferry on it, and the same issue also had items on Ian Dury, John Cooper Clarke, Howard Devoto, and Linton Kwesi Johnson. Not bad.

The title of the photo essay (?) is “Tales from the Crypt,” which of course calls to mind the comic book series that inspired the band’s creeptastic logo. The photographs were by Alain de la Mata, who went on to produce some interesting movies a couple of decades after this shoot, and the series of pictures was “scripted and performed by the Cramps,” which is certainly an unusual credit. “The Underestimator,” whose Tumblr I spotted these on, speculates that these marvelous pics may have been taken during the “Garbageman” promo video shoot at the Shepperton film Studios, in Middlesex, UK.

(Click on the above image for a larger view.)


More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘I use your eyeballs for dials on my TV set’: The Cramps destroy the airwaves
05:19 am


The Cramps
Inner Tube

Paul Tschinkel’s Inner Tube may have been low rent, but it was one of the grooviest TV rock shows in the history of the medium. The show ran on Manhattan cable from 1974 to 1984. With a shoestring budget, Paul managed to capture the raw energy of what is arguably the last great era in rock and roll. He filmed seminal performances from musicians like Klaus Nomi, Lydia Lunch, DNA, The Contortions, Johnny Thunders, The Blessed, The Cramps and many many more members of New York City’s punk and no wave scene.

Here’s some very cool footage from Inner Tube of The Cramps performing “Beautiful Gardens” at the Mudd Club in 1981. Who needed the Internet when TV was this good.

Oh my, oh me
What in the world’s come over me?
I’m seeing things that I should never see!
Spiders in my eyelids and ghosts in the cheese!
What in the world’s come over me?
I’ve lost touch with reality!

The video features the second best lineup of The Cramps (my personal favorite was with Bryan Gregory on guitar): Lux Interior, Ivy Rorschach, Kid Congo and Nick Knox. While versions of this video have floated around the ‘net, this is by far the best looking and sounding. It’s from the source. Many thanks to Paul Tschinkel.


Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Cramps’ guest spot on ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’
06:25 am


The Cramps
Beverly Hills, 90210

I never could understand the appeal of Beverly Hills, 90210, but I do remember when this happened because I so loved the Cramps. Around Halloween of 1995, the band appeared on the episode “Gypsies, Cramps and Fleas” to promote their Flamejob album. They got a mere 40 seconds of the broadcast—just long enough to be introduced by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, greet the audience in the punning style of the Crypt Keeper (or would Ghoulardi be more apt?), and play the hooks from Flamejob‘s “Mean Machine” and “Strange Love.”

I can’t help you with the plot of the show. For me, making sense of the interactions between these turkeys is like trying to read the Epic of Gilgamesh in the original Akkadian. You’ll have to take‘s word for what happens on this episode:

Colin appeases Kelly by ending his affiliation with Claudia and taking a teaching job. A fortune teller sets up shop at the Peach Pit for Halloween. In spite of her questionable credibility, her presence has an impact on many couples. She forces Susan to come clean with Brandon about a past relationship. David buys a love potion to use on Valerie, and the two become closer. Steve and Clare accidentally drink the potion and have a rendezvous in the club’s dressing room. Donna spends time at the Halloween party with Joe Bradley, the university’s star quarterback. A jealous Ray accosts her, prompting Joe to back off. Ray lurks at Donna’s apartment and becomes physical when she refuses to talk to him. Joe returns and comes to Donna’s defense; he had reconsidered his decision and wants to date her. Dylan and Toni take in a stray kitten. Toni finds Dylan’s gun in the first aid kit and insists that he get rid of it. Toni’s father meets her at the Peach Pit in the hopes of ending their rift. He refuses to give Dylan a chance, and Toni gets him to admit that he had Jack killed. Dylan disposes of his gun and vows to let go of his anger. He and Toni plan to move to Hawaii.


See, but wouldn’t it have made for better TV if Dylan had kept his gun and vowed to hold on to his anger? Or if they’d given the Cramps, say, a solid minute rather than the 40 seconds below? I know these suggestions come 20 years too late, but I record them here for the benefit of future generations. May they succeed where others have failed.

The whole thing, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
At home with The Cramps: Lux and Ivy give you a tour of their stuff
09:05 am

Pop Culture

The Cramps

In the early 90s, my friend Oberon Sinclair and I decided that we were going to host a once-a-week party in Los Angeles. She’d moved here from London, I’d relocated from NYC and we both thought the nightlife in El Lay was lacking. The idea was to do something “different.” Something glamorous (her department) and also something deeply weird (mine).

We’d found a venue (Leonardo’s on La Brea, a tacky Mexican nightclub with red gingham table cloths and anti-bug candles everywhere) and we’d chosen a name for our event (“Good Evening”) and the image for the invitation (the cover of the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore album of the same name).

We’d also found a yodeling senior citizen drag queen accordion player, a completely freaky fortune teller and a group of Beatle imitators named the Mop Tops (that’s another story) to entertain our guests, but we needed more than that, which is how we came to be seated at the Brand Chicken Restaurant on Brand Ave in Glendale, CA.

The Brand Chicken Restaurant was a fast food joint that was decorated to seem like it was part of a chain, but it obviously wasn’t. There were the familiar sort of molded furniture booths seen in McDonald’s, Wendy’s and KFC, except that the place was decked out in lurid pink and green.

We were at the Brand to meet up with “Rockin Robbie B” an Elvis impersonator who had just moved to Glendale from somewhere in the deep South and was seeing what opportunities might await him here in the entertainment capital of the world.

Rockin’ Robbie B lived above the restaurant and quite literally sang for his supper with a portable karaoke machine. They paid him in chicken sandwiches. The two Sikh brothers who owned the place might’ve been his landlords too. In a sense they were his artistic patrons.

With the exception of a diamante-encrusted “TCB” belt buckle Robbie didn’t dress like Elvis, at least at the restaurant, and looked more like country singer “C.W. McCall” than he did the King of Rock and Roll, but he did do a very, very good Elvis impression, with one tragic flaw: He lisped. Badly. And when he sang, he sprayed.

Let’s just say we were quite happy to be seated near the back of the place with our chicken sandwiches when we heard the opening bars of “Suspicious Minds” on his karaoke machine! He also did covers versions of songs not by Elvis, but as if Elvis covered them (like “Ghostbusters”) and he did “I Want to Hold Your Hand” as “I Want to Bite Your Hand” in a Bela Lugosi voice.

This was already a fairly surreal mise-en-scène but what happened next made it even better: Lux Interior and Poison Ivy Rorschach walked by, knocked on the window and waved excitedly to Rockin’ Robbie B who turned around on his stool and warmly greeted them back.

I tell you this tale to lead into an amazing peek into the home Lux and Ivy shared in Glendale. In it you’ll get a glimpse of their legendary record collection and some of their STUFF.

They’ve got good taste, so sit on my…

Thank you kindly Erleen Nada!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Psychotic Reaction: The *third* best live footage of The Cramps you’ll ever see!
05:35 am


The Cramps
Kid Congo Powers

Earlier this year I posted what I described as the “second best” Cramps footage out there and owing to the reaction, I think that many of our readers agreed with that assessment. The #1 best Cramps footage is them playing at the mental hospital, of course, but that Mudd Club gig that I called to your attention is fucking primo Cramps.

And so is this, what I reckon is the third best Cramps show to be found on the Internet and so far it’s had fewer than 250 views!

This absolutely stunning Cramps show was taped at the fabled City Gardens in Trenton, NJ on November 3, 1982—a smoking hot Kid Congo Powers era set that’s pretty high quality (sound and vision) for something of this vintage that was probably taped on VHS.

Dig the shamanic trickster god (and “most exalted potentate of love”) Lux Interior in the prime of his performing career backed by Poison Ivy, Kid Congo Powers and stickman Nick Knox. The Cramps were always a truly great live band, but at this point (around the time of their classic live Smell of Female EP recorded at the Peppermint Lounge) it still wasn’t completely clear how much of their act was “showbiz” and how much of it was them just being completely insane evil people on bad acid.

No band will ever have an “edge” quite like The Cramps ever again. It’s just a fact. Sorry young people!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
We Are Gumbo! Pop culture soup can art featuring Devo, The Cramps, Divine & more
07:14 am

Pop Culture

Andy Warhol
The Cramps

The Cramps pop art soup cans by Zteven
The Cramps, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy
I’ve been an admirer of Atlanta-based pop artist Zteven for a while now and own many pieces from his pop culture-inspired soup can series (Lemmy Kilmister-flavored Bouillabaisse anyone?). In an interview earlier this year, Zteven cited the very moment his artistic inspiration was born after he saw Andy Warhol’s appearance on The Love Boat (which incidentally aired on October 12th of 1985 during season nine/episode three). The young Zteven was instantly mesmerized by Warhol’s “awkward coolness.” He developed an insatiable appetite for comic books, music and TV magazine, as well as the occasional tabloid while accompanying his grandmother to the beauty parlor.

Zteven is an 80’s kid to the core, and his artwork celebrates the many highlights of this glorious decade that often gets a worse rap than it deserves. Sail on over to Zteven’s Popmania! Etsy shop to see more.
Devo pop art soup can art by Zteven
Marc Bolan pop art soup cans by Zteven
Marc Bolan

‘Strangers with Candy’
Polyester pop art soup can by Zteven
Divine and Edith Massey

‘Pink Flamingos’ triptych

Tura Satana

Little Edie and Big Edie from ‘Grey Gardens’

David Bowie

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The Cramps want to know: ‘Can Your Pussy do the Dog?’
06:34 am


The Cramps

The pop music show The Tube ran on UK’s Channel 4 for five years in the 1980s. Hosted by, among others, Jools Holland and Paula Yates, the program showcased live (as in actually live and not mimed) performances by three or four emerging bands every week, including, in March of 1986, some high badassery from the legendary rockabilly/horror/sleaze/punk band The Cramps.

This was a transitional time for the band. Since the departure of guitarist Kid Congo Powers, The Cramps—wildman singer Lux Interior, fuzzgrinding guitarist Poison Ivy Rorschach, and drummer Nick Knox—were unable to find a permanent replacement guitarist, and elected to add a bass to their lineup for the first time ever, only to find themselves unable to settle on a bassist. They were also tweaking their image, tilting their focus away somewhat from their ghoulish b-movie horror side towards a more colorfully cartoonish and kitschy hypersexuality. In accord with that change, representative song titles from that year’s A Date With Elvis LP include “The Hot Pearl Snatch” and “Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?” both of which are featured in their Tube set, along with the single “What’s Inside a Girl?” The bass player issue was settled, for their tour, at least, with the addition of Hollywood Hillbillies’ Fur Dixon, who’s seen playing in the videos below. She certainly fit the bill visually!

More bad music for bad people after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Bad Music for Bad People: The second best Cramps footage you’ll ever see!
12:41 pm


The Cramps
Kid Congo Powers

This might not be the very best footage of The Cramps you’ll ever see—that designation would probably be bestowed upon the infamous video shot at the Napa, CA mental hospital in 1978—but it’s most probably the second best. Oh yes…

This is The Cramps—Lux, Ivy, Nick Knox and Kid Congo Powers—caught live at the Mudd Club in NYC, at their prime, in 1981. The source for this was a broadcast of Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube and it was apparently taped off the air. Recently it turned up on the Dime a Dozen torrent tracker and then on YouTube. I’ve owned—for about 25 years—a really good low generation dub of the final three songs, so to see the entire set is pretty glorious.

A few years ago, Paul Tschinkel teased the Internet by releasing a little bit of what he’s got and here’s what I wrote:

Since I was only ever able to catch a few of them on TV (I moved to NYC the year it went off the air), I was always on the look-out for bootlegs of a cable access program called Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube, perhaps THE greatest (I can’t imagine what would compare to it) underground video archive of late 70, early 80s punk, post-punk, No Wave and New Wave music that exists.

The Gun Club, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, The Cramps, Blondie, Talking Heads, James Chance and the Contortions, Johnny Thunders, Television, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Dead Boys, The Ramones, Siouxsie and The Banshees… the list of bands seen on Inner-Tube goes on and on and on. Shows often shot in color, with two cameras and sound board audio. Performances taped at CBGB, Mudd Club, Danceteria, Max’s Kansas City, Irving Plaza and usually the camera was right up front.

Inner-Tube ran for ten years on Manhattan Cable (meaning that you could only watch it if you lived in Manhattan, the outer boroughs didn’t get it, TV Party, Midnight Blue or The Robin Byrd Show, either). Seriously, it was the best of the best. Unbelievable shit.

I’ve been waiting in vain for years, hoping for a proper DVD release of the “best of” Inner-Tube, but the rights issues would probably make that a nightmare. Now it looks like Tschinkel is starting to put some on YouTube. This should be encouraged!

I wrote that two years ago. Since then Paul has released precious little of his treasure trove on YouTube. Hopefully he’ll note the interest in this Cramps post and give us some more? Pretty please???

The sole downside of this amazing video is that Poison Ivy spends much of the time behind a big pillar, hidden from the camera. You do see her, but not as much as you might want to.

Set list:
“Don’t Eat Stuff Off The Sidewalk”
“New Kind Of Kick”
“The Green Fuz”
“Can’t Find My Mind”
“Goo Goo Muck”
“Natives Are Restless”
“TV Set”
“Sunglasses After Dark”
“Voodoo Idol”
“Human Fly”
“I Was A Teenage Werewolf”
“Beautiful Gardens”

If this doesn’t get you off, then you don’t like rock and roll… and get the fuck off this blog.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kid Congo Powers on life with The Cramps, The Gun Club and Nick Cave on ‘The Pharmacy’

Gregg Foreman’s radio program, The Pharmacy, is a music / talk show playing heavy soul, raw funk, 60′s psych, girl groups, Krautrock. French yé-yé, Hammond organ rituals, post-punk transmissions and “ghost on the highway” testimonials and interviews with the most interesting artists and music makers of our times…

Legendary guitarist Kid Congo Powers is this week’s special guest. Kid has played with The Gun Club, The Cramps, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and his own group, The Pink Monkey Birds (touring the US in February, don’t miss them!)

Listen in on the conversation as Kid discusses how Poison Ivy once asked him if he was willing to sacrifice a finger to be in The Cramps… How playing with Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds inspired him to quit drinking…. and how he learned to play the blues from Jeffery Lee Pierce.

Mr. Pharmacy is a musician and DJ who has played for the likes of Pink Mountaintops, The Delta 72, The Black Ryder, The Meek and more. Since 2012 Gregg Foreman has been the musical director of Cat Power’s band. He started dj’ing 60s Soul and Mod 45’s in 1995 and has spun around the world. Gregg currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and divides his time between playing live music, producing records and dj’ing various clubs and parties from LA to Australia.

Mr.Pharmacist - The Fall
Shot Down - The Sonics
Bert’s Apple Crumble - The Quik
Rx Intro Part One - Blind Man Can See It - James Brown
Kid Congo Interview Part One
New Kind of Kick - The Cramps
Jaguar Shake - Les Jaguars
Akula Owu Onyeara - The Funkees
I Heard it Through the Grapevine - The Slits
Rx Intro Part 2 - Sliced Tomatoes - Just Brothers
Kid Congo Part Two
Preaching the Blues - The Gun Club
The Brother’s Gonna Work it Out - Willie Hutch
Stand Up and Be Counted - The Equals
Caress - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Kid Congo Interview Part Three
Deanna - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Rx Intro Part - Jumping Jack Flash - Ananda Shankar
Kid Congo Interview Part Four
Bo Bo Boogaloo - Kid Congo + The Pink Monkey Birds
Liberation Conversation - Marlena Shaw
Justine - Don & Dewey
Oh Oh Mojo - Volcanoes
Rx Outro - Big City - Spacemen 3
Mr.Pharmacist - The Fall

You can download the entire the show here.

“Haunted Head” by Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds. Directed by Rob Parrish.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘We’re the best of the worst’: The Cramps on B-Movies, sex, drugs & rock-n-roll
01:11 pm


The Cramps
Lux Interior
Poison Ivy

Before there was Kim and Thurston, there was Poison Ivy Rorschach and Lux Interior, one of the most charming, happiest, long-standing (together thirty-seven years) collaborative couples in music. They gave a recently rediscovered interview to Dutch public radio station VPRO around 1990 during The Cramps’ Stay Sick tour.

In the hour long interview, Poison Ivy and Lux talk about the gyrations involved in dealing with major and independent labels, overseas distribution deals, their invention of the word “psychobilly,” the ‘80s war on drugs, voodoo, religion, war, sex, B movies, and how they “Crampified” original classics such as “Bop Pills.” Their encyclopedic knowledge of rockabilly and B movies, which they rattle off effortlessly, is incredible. Lux outlines the history of American B movies for the interviewer:

Lux: The thing that’s so great, I think, about B movies is that when you watch a movie like that, they were made so quickly and usually by fairly amateur filmmakers that what you’re seeing is much more of the reality of the time and place where they were made than a motion pictures studio like MGM or Paramount or something like that. You’re actually seeing people who can’t act very well, so you see them as people, and they usually take place in somebody’s real house and on real streets and things, while all the other movies were being made on sets. There’s a slice of reality you don’t get in regular movies with those. I don’t know what it is.  Once you’ve developed a taste for that, you can’t go back somehow.


Poison Ivy: A lot of sexploitation [movies], just even titles, influence our songs. The dialogue from a lot of those movies is in our songs. “Hot Pearl Snatch” is the name of a movie, “All Women Are Bad” is the name of a movie. They’re powerful titles to us enough that we felt like writing songs about them. Also they’re in lines of our songs.

Lux: “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” could be a B movie. The line in that, “This stuff’ll kill ya,” that’s a title of a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie about moonshine. Our songs are just loaded with B movie titles and lines out of B movies. In “What’s Inside a Girl” I say “In the bottom of the bottomless body pit,” like that, and that’s out of a movie called—

Poison Ivy: “The Love Butcher.” That was actually a line of dialogue out of that movie. It’s hard for us not to use these lines because we’re just kind of submerged in these movies. We think that way. They don’t sound like dialogue to us.

Listen to The Cramps on VPRO radio

Below, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy interviewed in Amsterdam, 1990:

Thanks to Kogar!

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
The Cramps’ Lux Interior posing with his John Wayne Gacy portrait
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The Cramps
Lux Interior
John Wayne Gacy

While he was waiting on death row, John Wayne Gacy painted a number of portraits of cartoon characters, clowns and famous people, often at their request, including Lux Interior of The Cramps.

Apparently Gacy never actually listened to The Cramps but wrote (typos included) this on November, 15 1987:

I don’t look at people has hero’s nor do I write to lux interior as fan mail, we have just become friend via writing to each others, he expresses his view on things and I do the same. I don’t try to change people or get them on my side, I let them believe what they want and then if I get a new trial they will see where I am coming from. But I do answer some questions if I feel I can help them out by explaining it. By the way I have never heard Lux Interior music but I don’t pass judgement on it either as I believe his kind of musci make a statement too. I have hread he was dead too, but I think thats just bad rummor. I haven’t heard from him in a month or so but then thats not unusual for him. I just wrote to let him know that a painting he asked me to do is finished. He has been an admirer of my art work and owns four of them now, not including two I have just sent to him and the one I just finished.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Lux Interior and Ivy Rorschach’s McDonald’s job applications

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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