Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lux Interior

Lux Interior was an American singer and a founding member of the legendary garage punk band The Cramps from 1976 until his death in February 2009.

Born Erick Lee Purkhiser in 1946 in Akron, Ohio, he grew up in the Akron and Stow, Ohio area. He met his wife Kristy Wallace, better known as Poison Ivy, a.k.a. Ivy Rorschach, in Sacramento in 1972, allegedly while 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, 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, has been posted for fans of Lux by long time friend Jonny Whiteside. Lux's brother, Mike, also provided insight into his relationship with Lux in a newspaper article.

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