Cramps Frontman Lux Interior Dies At 62 The Cramps took the rumbling sound of 1950s rockabilly and surf music and slowed it to a haunting crawl. The band's leader, Lux Interior, was the ultimate showman. He threw himself around the stage, and his growl hiccuped like Buddy Holly. He died Wednesday of a heart condition.
NPR logo Cramps Frontman Lux Interior Dies At 62

Cramps Frontman Lux Interior Dies At 62

Lux Interior fronting The Cramps in 1985. Dave Alloca/Hulton Archive hide caption

toggle caption
Dave Alloca/Hulton Archive

Lux Interior fronting The Cramps in 1985.

Dave Alloca/Hulton Archive

While New York bands like the Ramones and Television were redefining American rock 'n' roll in the late 1970s, The Cramps looked back with a menacing eye. The quartet took the rumbling sound of 1950s rockabilly and surf music and slowed it to a haunting crawl.

Lead singer Lux Interior, born Eric Lee Purkhiser, was the ultimate showman. He threw himself around the stage, and his growl hiccuped like Buddy Holly. Interior took his lyrical and theatrical inspiration from midnight movies, spawning a new generation of kitsch complete with leopard prints.

Growing more craggy with age — just like zombies in his favorite B-movies — The Cramps continued to perform until 2006. Interior died Wednesday of an existing heart condition in a Glendale, Calif., hospital. He was 62.

Purchase Featured Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Songs the Lord Taught Us [Bonus Tracks]
Artist
The Cramps
Label
EMI
Released
1998

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?