By August Brown
9:39 PM PST, February 4, 2009
Lux Interior, the singer, songwriter and founding member of the pioneering New York City horror-punk band the Cramps, died Wednesday. He was 60. Interior, whose real name was Erick Lee Purkhiser, died at Glendale Memorial Hospital of a heart condition, according to a statement from his publicist.
With his wife, guitarist "Poison" Ivy Rorschach, Interior formed the Cramps in 1976, pairing lyrics that expressed their love of B-movie camp with ferocious rockabilly and surf-inspired instrumentation.
The band became a staple of the late '70s Manhattan punk scene emerging from clubs such as Max's Kansas City and CBGB, and was one of the first acts to realize the potential of punk rock as theater and spectacle.
Often dressed in macabre, gender-bending costumes onstage, Interior evoked a lanky, proto-goth Elvis Presley, and his band quickly became notorious for volatile and decadent live performances.
The Cramps recorded early singles at Sun Records with producer Alex Chilton of the band Big Star and had their first critical breakthrough on their debut EP "Gravest Hits."
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Download my favourite Cramps' song: Bikini Girls with Machine Guns