Never Found in the '80s: The Cramps
Elvis did rockabilly. Johnny Cash did rockabilly. The Stray Cats did rockabilly. But The Cramps did psychobilly!
Emerging from the early American punk rock scene, The Cramps cut their teeth at New York’s legendary music club CBGB. They played a punk, rockabilly sound that featured sexual double entendre lyrics and some fairly lewd onstage antics provided by lead singer Lux Interior.
They may have been just a little too psycho in their rockabilly music to catch the ear of a mainstream audience in the 80s, but I think this song Garbageman is pretty darn good. The song is from their first full length album Songs The Lord Taught Us released in 1980. The video states the song is from 1979, but it’s from 1980.
The band’s only mainstay members were Lux Interior and Poison Ivy (guitarist and Lux’s wife). The rest of the band’s line-up changed frequently throughout its existence. The Cramps finally disbanded after the shocking and unexpected death of Lux Interior of an aortic dissection in 2009. As an added bonus, here is a clip of The Cramps performing Tear It Up from the concert film Urgh! A Music War. Warning! This footage may be NSFW and a bit disturbing to those with a more delicate nature and intolerance for microphone abuse.