Friday Tunes: The Cramps

The Cramps got together in the same year I was born. I didn't discover them until I was 15 years old: the kindly middle-aged punk who ran a record shop in my hometown told me to check them out or he'd lay a whooping on me. I've never been so happy to have been afraid for my life: their love of trashy 1950's pulp culture, pinups and catchy surf guitar licks never fails to make me happy. Also, the band's guitarist, Poison Ivy, had some of the best damn hair in the history of music. I'll fight you on that.

The Cramps played, in one form or another, until the band's lead singer, Lux Interior, died of heart failure in 2009.

From the New York Times:

In 1979 the Cramps were guest D.J.’s on WPIX-FM in New York, spinning records by Wanda Jackson, the Electric Prunes, Herbie Duncan and other vintage rockabilly and garage acts. Lux Interior was asked by one of the station personalities about the music.

Taken aback by the question, he replied: “Rock ’n’ roll has absolutely nothing to do with music. It’s much more than music. Rock ’n’ roll is who you are. You can’t call the Cramps music. It’s noise, rockin’ noise.”

Naked Girl Falling Down the Stairs is from their self-produced album, Flamejob, released in 1994. It was the first record of theirs I bought. I had the chorus from the song stuck in my head for weeks. At school, in bed at night. Read the rest

William Shatner covers The Cramps' 'Garbageman' for new Dr. Demento punk box set

Oh, William Shatner, you have brought us much joy over the years with all your awkward spoken-word interpretations of popular songs. Now, you're covering The Cramps' "Garbageman" and, well, we're still amused.

Well if you can't dig me, you can't dig nothin'

Do you want the real thing, or are you just talkin'?

Do you understand?

I'm your garbageman

Bill's Cramps' cover was recorded for the forthcoming Covered in Punk box set by novelty song radio personality, the one and only Dr. Demento.

Over two-full hours, a total of 64 tracks—all created specifically for “Dr. Demento Covered in Punk”!

Both the two-disc CD, or three-disc vinyl LP come with an equally entertaining full-color booklet jam-packed with extensive liner notes and quotes personally written by the artists, a foreword by producer John Cafiero (Misfits, Ramones, Osaka Popstar), an Afterword by Dr. Demento, as well as facts, photos, and an array of dynamic paintings and illustrations created specifically for the project by a team of visual artists spanning the world of comic books, classic punk-rock album covers, Topps Trading card series, Mad Magazine and more.

Joined by everyone from the Misfits, Joan Jett, Fred Schneider of the B52s, to “Weird Al” Yankovic, the late Adam “Batman” West (in one of his final performances), and Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner—(to name just a few), the Doctor is in…and he’s ‘Covered in Punk’!!

Pre-order it now (release date is January 2018).

Side note: The vinyl looks a bit like spin art:

(Dangerous Minds) Read the rest