Goodbye Nasty, Goodbye Lux

“Huh, huh, huh,” chortled my very straight, very conservative friend, Jim. “What kind of name is that for a band? The Cramps! Huh, huh, huh. Are the band members called, like, Before, During, and After?”

This same Jim and his roommate Cary had previously introduced me to The Boss, someone I hadn’t known existed, and I had completely disgraced myself by bursting into laughter at the first sound of his earnest, boring music. Turned out I was much more interested in a band who sang about not eating stuff off the sidewalk.

It was probably the next year, my sophomore year at the University of Michigan, that a bunch of us made the trip into Detroit to see the Cramps. I don’t remember the name of the club, but I sure remember Lux Interior. Sweaty, crazy, basically naked (goodness, your bikini bottoms are eensy-weensy, Sir!), he inspired my love. I don’t think I really knew why I loved him so much. At the time, I assumed I was straight (despite a troubling brush with homosexual longing and near-consumation with a handsome dormmate earlier), I knew I was a feminist, I didn’t really drink or use drugs, and I had been a virgin until I was 19 and still didn’t get a whole lot of action. The whole band gave me pleasure, although Poison Ivy kind of scared me (go figure). But Lux up there, embodying pure nasty, was ringing my bell the most. Here’s a picture:

Yesterday when I was driving to work, I heard on ZBC that Lux was dead. Then the dj played “For the Love of Ivy” by the Gun Club. I had to sit in the parking lot, call my Beau, get a little sympathy, and then collect myself. I wanted to bawl, but I was already a few minutes late, so I just sucked it up. Later, I did cry a tad, and I’m feeling mopey this morning, for sure. Back then, Lux beckoned to that kinky femme inside of me, that irreverent, sexy, fuck-you, life is a gas gas gas girl who was struggling to unbud. I think he probably did that for a lot of people, regardless of their sexuality, because he was so out there, so obviously not giving a shit, except for I think he probably did and he was going for it, all the way. There are people you encounter along the way who throw you a lifeline, even though you might not know it until much later, and Lux was one of those for me. Just knowing he was out there, being crazy, being himself, has been a great comfort to me. Last night, I dreamed I was at his funeral, and Ivy was there, with all gray hair, and I was thinking, “God, she looks good!” I am the way I am – finally having unbudded with a vengeance and looking good despite the gray in my hair – because of Lux, just a little bit, you know, but an important little bit, and I am grateful.

My life has had many blessings, and one of them was getting to see the Cramps in Detroit in the early 80s and feel the light of Lux shine into my soul.

Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM  Leave a Comment  

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