Thursday, February 05, 2009


As a tribute to the recently deceased Lux Interior, lead singer of one of my favorite bands The Cramps, I will not be posting any Cramps material because all the other blogs are doing that (as well they should.) Instead, I'll post some absolutely wonderful, should-have-been-hits ripped-from-vinyl obscurities that I think Lux would have liked.

A "rat fink" was an insult, the crazed character created by pioneering artist/car designer "Big Daddy" Roth, and (as "Rat Pfink") the title mock-superhero in the film "Rat Pfink a Boo Boo" by legendary cult film director Ray Dennis Steckler, who also passed away recently. These tunes all come from the
fertile late '50s/early '60s music world that The Cramps drew their life's work from: novelty, surf, garage, rockabilly. Low-down, sleazy, bursting with energy and subversive wit, this is what rock'n'roll was all about, and what Lux & Co. were dedicated to preserving.

In the days before the internet and the reissue mania, there was no way to hear this kind of music unless you were an obsessed record collector, as The Cramps were. Their covers of songs like these brought a whole new world to my (and countless others) tender eardrums.

Mike Russo/Mad Magazine "Let's All Do The Fink" - from the 1961 album "Fink Along With Mad!"

Ron Haydock & The Boppers "Rat Pfink" - One of my all-time fave rockabilly rumblers.

Mr. Gasser & The Weirdos "Hey Rat Fink" - Killer surf instro; "Big Daddy" Roth had some involvement with this album.

Allan Sherman "Rat Fink" - Great rock parody by the man behind "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadah."

The Kornerstones "Doin The Rat Fink"

Dammit, why are all my punk heroes dying before all the boring hippie Baby Boomer acts? Joey, Johnny & Dee Dee are gone, Crosby, Stills & Nash live on. Joe Strummer is worm food while Eric Crap, er, Clapton still draws air. That's not right! I hope his better half Miss Poison Ivy continues the good fight.


Anonymous said...

Nice tribute and I sure agree with the sentiment conveyed in your closing paragraph.

Lux and Ivy where the ultimate mutant rock fans. They did the only sensible thing about it too; get in a band and make a living playing music they loved to play.

Catherine said...

thanks 4 these I really caught rockin pneumonia from the cramps and stayed sick. surely there is some way to reanimate the bloody gears of that rockin machine