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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Got Cramps?

cramps live 3 small

This was the first image I had, both in my camera and in my head of The Cramps performing their brand of trash voodoo psycho rockabilly-flavored garage punk rock at the Whisky A Go Go way back in the summer of 1978.

lux live small

Lux Interior was the perfect frontman - all scary and sexy in a B-movie monster kind of way.


However....Pleasant and I were hanging out with them before we got to see them play. One day, she got a call from Lux, proclaiming he rang her up at the behest of our mutual friend, Kristian Hoffman who had told Lux that Pleasant was the coolest chick in L.A. We seized the moment in every possible way. New friends, who were friends of friends, a way cool band we'd already heard so much about, and a band that was into some of the very same campy kitsch stuff we were into. A Lobotomy feature was of course in the cards.

The punchline is that the Cramps were even better than we had expected. To this day, Lux and Ivy absolutely LIVE that image to the hilt.

The Cramps were such good sports about being photographed.

cramps b movie portrait 2 colorized small
(I colorized this like a monster movie just for this particular occasion)

Of course, they were staying at the Tropicana, and their rooms as well as the weird black-bottomed pool were perfect scenes against which to photograph them. Another photographer joined us (so there are two different yet similar visions of these tableaux out there for you!), and I brought this very hot little lamp so I could create some high contrast film-noir looks. The little lamp really belonged to a motion picture camera I had. I rested it on the bed when we took these shots below. It burned a hole in the bedspread. Now, that's pretty punk, but I was embarrassed just the same.

The Cramps

Lux at the Tropicana

I call this one "Lux Interior, Private Dick" because he seemed to be channeling some kind of Phillip Marlowe from Hell character amongst the voodoo in the room.

When the date finally came that the Cramps were playing, LA turned out in big numbers for their show. You can see a pre-Go-Go's Belinda Carlisle highlighted in the audience, right at the foot of the stage here.

belinda in crowd cramps small

Live Cramps from various vantage points:

Lux Interior

bryan polka dot guitar live small

The Cramps

If you love the Cramps as much as I do, you NEED to get the Target Video DVD of the Cramps Live at Napa State Hospital

cramps at napa

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