The Cramps Merchandise : T-Shirts
The Cramps are a Psychobilly band whose only permanent members have been Lux Interior (Erick Purkhiser) and Poison Ivy (Kristy Wallace), the lead singer and lead guitarist respectively. Their musical style is stripped-down rockabilly, mostly in twelve bar blues form, played at varying, though usually fast, tempos, with a very minimal drumkit. The compelling part of the early Cramps sound is dual guitars - Ivy"s Fender Twin Reverbed twang paired with Bryan Gregory"s brutal Superfuzzed grind - without a bassist. The content of their songs and image is sleaze, the same trashy Americana John Waters celebrates, sexual fetishism, clever bad jokes, and a lot of cheap, horror B-movie cliches. Influences on the sound are early rockabilly and proto-rock"n"roll like Link Wray and Hasil Adkins, 1960s surf music acts such as The Ventures and Dick Dale; 1960s garage rock artists like The Standells, The Gants, and The Sonics, as well as the post-Glam/early punk scene from which they emerged. They also were influenced to a degree by The Ramones and owe a lot to Screamin" Jay Hawkins for having invented the theatrical, horror-blues stage act. In turn, they have strongly influenced subsequent punk and rockabilly revival bands, even creating a genre in their wake. "Psychobilly," a style played by bands like The Meteors and the Sharks, is a term coined by the Cramps, although Lux Interior maintains that the term does not describe their own style. The Cramps" music, flamboyance, and glamour influenced or anticipated acts like The White Stripes, The Gun Club, The Fuzztones, James Chance and the Contortions, The Birthday Party with Nick Cave, The Dum Dum Boys, The Meteors, Flat Duo Jets, and Tav Falco"s Panther Burns. Brief biography Lux Interior and Poison Ivy met in Sacramento, California in 1972.