Erick Lee Purkhiser (October 21, 1946 – February 4, 2009), better known by the stage name Lux Interior and a firm favourite here at RPM passed away on this day in 2009. With the true spirit of Rock n Roll coursing through his veins Lux was a unique frontman and someone I’d happily refer to as a genius. He embodied the outsider but was captivating and entertaining just like a frontman should so we raise a glass and toast his memory – gone but certainly not forgotten.
Born in Ohio in 1946 he was named Erick Lee Purkhiser. He met his wife Kristy Wallace, better known as Poison Ivy, a.k.a. Ivy Rorschach, in Sacramento in 1972, when he and a friend picked her up when she was hitchhiking. The couple founded the band after they moved from California to Ohio in 1973, and then to New York in 1975, where they soon became part of the flourishing punk scene. He got his stage name from a car commercial after originally going by the name Vip Vop (just imagine)
There should be no need for a summary of what the Cramps were all about and what impact his music had on the public. Lux Interior died at 4:30 a.m. on February 4, 2009, at Glendale Memorial Hospital in California. The cause of death was aortic dissection. He was survived by his wife Ivy and two brothers, Michael Purkhiser and Ronald “Skip” Purkhiser. The memorial service for Lux was held on February 21 at the Windmill Chapel of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. Play some cramps loud tonight in his memory and remember kids – Stay Sick!
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