Friday, February 06, 2009

Lux Interior, R.I.P.

He was one of two of my best and favorite subjects to photograph - Lux Interior... frontman and founder of The Cramps.

The noir lighting was my idea... the props were all his.

Lux was best known as a malevolent beast of a performer. He knew no boundaries... he wore women's clothes on stage, and more often than not, shed most of his clothing anyway. He'd fellate the microphone, dance around on super high fuck-me pumps and act like a transvestite Frankenstein and still, the ladies went wild for him.

Together with his soul-mate, life-long partner and wife, Poison Ivy Rorshach, Lux cut an atavistic path in a new genre's future. The Cramps music drew upon 50s and 60s culture and icons - b movies, monsters.... bikini girls with machine guns, Ghoulardi... they elevated bad taste from the underground sewer into the very same gutter that Oscar Wilde imagined being in while gazing up at the stars.

The unexpected passing of Lux Interior has struck a deep chord in the hearts of all punk rock fans. I don't know any death that has hit so hard. For all his dark side stage persona, Lux Interior was not an evil man. Far from it, he was clever and down right intelligent and kind. He gave so much to so many. And for me, he gave me confidence as an artist, encouraging me to trust my own vision and run with it.

The evidence of that is played out each day on punkturns30 and in coffee table books that feature the classic Cramps group portrait from the Tropicana, 1978.

Lux Interior, I will miss you.

Dear Ivy... there are no words to express how heavy my heart is for your loss, and how over the years, I have appreciated you sharing your man with the world.

Rest in Peace, Lux and give em hell in heaven.