Friday, February 06, 2009


what with losing Ron Asheton not so long ago (which i didn't blog about, because it seems like the only time i DO blog is when someone dies, which is pretty depressing...but i guess here we go again, sorry), the loss of Lux Interior...
i don't even know: i was actually SHOCKED when i read the news.
i remember when i was, hell-- 12 or 13 and trying to wrap my (at that particular time...) suburban head around this scary "punk rock" thing; of course, i came at it all ass-backwards, but most of it i just didn't understand; i WANTED to understand it, but the Clash's first record(s) really didn't hit me where i could it?
but the friend josh's older brother had all this stuff, and when i finally heard the one with the scariest cover (all yellow and black)... it was... unbelievable. from the very first note of Garbageman... i liked it so much i felt like "this is the greatest thing i have ever heard, and so there must be something WRONG WITH ME". seriously. my brain could not process the fact that the world could accommodate this music and, you know, MIAMI VICE at the same time. it made me feel... creepy and GOOD simultaneously. i couldn't really deal with it, back then.
and. well. look how it all worked out.
rock and roll is a pretty stupid thing (and i say this from experience). but it's also... not stupid (ditto). 
the Cramps weren't ever about "PUNK" or haircuts or any of that shit, they were about... being a WEIRDO; a DEEP- DOWN, LIFER WEIRDO, and that's a different thing than any musical fashion trend. the glory of the Cramps was that they MADE THIER OWN WORLD; they constructed it out of the fact that they were weirdos, and wrote songs that were 100% serious and 100% hilarious and 100% about the GLORY OF BEING A GODDAMN WEIRDO.  they weren't getting kicked out of your world; they were letting you into theirs.
i'm teaching a college class right now and i brought in my DVD of the Napa crazyhouse show (and made it "optional" for the students to watch...), and was yet again stunned at a) how AWESOME it is and b) how NO BAND would have the balls to do that TODAY, much less in 1978, and c) how they just seem right at home playing there. and the fact that the 5 students who DID stick around (god bless 'em) to watch it had that glazed look of disbelief on their faces says... it says a lot.
look; the Cramps are one of the things that make me PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN. i always thought "if, for whatever reason, i go on some 2-day blackout bender and when i come to i've got a Cramps tattoo... that'd be just fine."
they were also one of those things that, unfortunately, i thought would go on forever, and the couple times i had the opportunity to see them it got sidetracked with whatever, and i always thought "i'll get them the next time".
now i won't, and i'm an idiot.
i'm with everyone who says Lux Interior (and Poison Ivy for that matter) ought to go along with Mark Twain and Lovecraft and Crumb and ... ah hell whatever other nutjob americans originals that history ought not to forget, just by virtue of "Drug Train" and whatever the hell he's got shoved in his mouth during "She Said"... there oughtta be some sort of national holiday where everyone shoves a live microphone halfway down their gullet and bellows like a dying horse, just for fun.
but i'm not telling you anything you don't know.
i know 62 is young all things considered, but hell; you cut a swath like he did and...
anyway, still; damn it.

tune in tomorrow as i get furious about some dumb thing that hardly matters.

ps-- need i mention that i'd take the Cramps over the Rolling Stones in a heartbeat? no.
AND; r.i.p Ron Asheton, damn it.