Sunday, February 08, 2009


Holy smokes, world, it's not that I expected Eartha Kitt, Bettie Page, Ron Asheton, and Lux Interior to live forever, but c'mmmmon! An entire generation of influence is eroding and it is so bogue! How else can I describe it?

Flashback to 1992. My sister graduated from high school and skipped town in a disastrous attempt to make a life in Olympia, WA. She lived in a cabin without running water, sold pot to rednecks, and washed her hair in a homeless shelter. Back at our parents' house, I rummaged through her closet and found both a copy of an anti-school newspaper she helped assemble (The Purple Underground -- "the P.U." for short) and her cassette stash. The two most intriguing tapes were by Krokus and The Cramps. The P.U. inspired my first zine, Propaganda Trash, an anti-school newspaper (of sorts) which earned a 10-day suspension with possibility of expulsion for myself and two pals. Krokus (Alive & Screamin' maybe?) was discarded immediately. The Cramps, on the other hand, tore the roof off. I don't know if I'd heard rockabilly until that point but it spoke so deeply to my soul that I stayed up all night, playing that cassette over and over.

I don't listen to The Cramps so much now as the essential Born Bad series of compilations. Killer cuts through and through and most definitely some of the best, and strangest, songs I've ever heard. They call it pedigree, and Lux and Ivy surely had and have it.

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