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Lux Interior live, 18 October 2004
|Birth name||Erick Lee Purkhiser|
|Also known as||Lux Interior, Raven Beauty, Vip Vop|
|Born||October 21, 1946(1946-10-21) |
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
|Origin||Sacramento, California, U.S.|
|Died||February 4, 2009 (aged 62) |
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Genres||Garage punk, Gothabilly, Rock'n'roll, Punk, Punk blues, Horror punk|
|Associated acts||The Cramps|
Erick Lee Purkhiser (October 21, 1946 – February 4, 2009), better known as Lux Interior, was an American singer and a founding member of the legendary garage punk band The Cramps from 1976 until his sudden death in February 2009 aged 62.
Born in Akron, Ohio, he grew up in its nearby suburb of Stow and graduated from Stow-Munroe Falls High School. 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 and moved from California to Ohio in 1973 and then to New York in 1975 where they became part of the flourishing punk scene.
Lux Interior's name came "from an old car commercial", having previously flirted with the names Vip Vop and Raven Beauty, while his wife's name change was inspired by "a vision she received in a dream". The couple called their musical style psychobilly, originally claiming it to have been inspired by a Johnny Cash song, (One Piece at a Time), and later saying that they were just using the phrase as "carny terms to drum up business."
Lux Interior died at 4:30 a.m. on February 4, 2009, in Glendale, California. The cause of death was aortic dissection. He is survived by his wife Ivy and two brothers, Michael Purkhiser  and Ronald "Skip" Purkhiser. The memorial service for Lux was held on February 21st at the Windmill Chapel of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. This was a very private ceremony but a report of it, agreed to by Ivy, was posted for fans by long time friend Jonny Whiteside on the blog of LA Weekly and later in the print edition. Lux's brother, Mike, also provided insight into his relationship with Lux in a newspaper article.
The Cramps gave their last show in November 2006. When asked why he continued to play live well into his middle age, he told the LA Times:
- "It's a little bit like asking a junkie how he's been able to keep on dope all these years, It's just so much fun. You pull in to one town and people scream, 'I love you, I love you, I love you.' And you go to a bar and have a great rock 'n' roll show and go to the next town and people scream, 'I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.' It's hard to walk away from all that."
In 2002 Lux Interior performed the voice of a character on SpongeBob SquarePants - the lead singer of an all-bird rock band called the Bird Brains. Sponge Bob voice Tom Kenny attended his memorial ceremony. The Cramps: Live at Napa State Mental Hospital (1981)
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758423/
During a 1978 tour, psychobilly punk band The Cramps created one of the strangest moments in the history of both rock n' roll and psychiatry when they played a gig inside Napa State Mental Hospital. It's hard to believe it actually happened. The story sounds more like an exaggerated rock legend than an account of a real concert, but no suspension of disbelief is needed. Someone filmed the gig. We can only guess how the band got permission to play inside one of California's biggest mental institutions, but play they did, to a few supporters and a fired-up crowd of psychiatric inpatients. The footage is grainy, black and white, and chaotic, and we immediately see the band launch into a high-energy version of Mystery Plane. The onlookers look bemused at first, a few start dancing, a few just wander.
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