Lux Interior
By: David Smay | Categories: HiLo Heroes

Step right this way, ladies and gents! See Erick Lee Purkhiser, an innocent child from Akron, Ohio, whose mental faculties were disturbed by Ghoulardi’s late-night Shock Theater movies and the offbeat radio emanations of Pete “Mad Daddy” Myers! Watch as Purkhiser transforms before your very eyes into LUX INTERIOR (1946-2009), a paragon of perversity who, along with partner Poison Ivy, remade rock and roll in his own bestial image — a music conceived in sin and dredged through the foulest depths of the human psyche! Often imitated, never duplicated, none can match the carnal depravity of The Cramps! The wanton gyrations, the reverb oscillations, the frantic tantrum of their mind-searing music! You will actually see him cry ninety-six tears from ninety-six eyes, and witness the braces on his fangs. You will wither beneath the dominating gaze of Ivy, thrill at Lux’s strangely compelling vocal utterances! Learn things undreamt of in your petty philosophies! Step right this way…


On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Ursula K. LeGuin.

READ MORE about members of the Blank Generation (1944-53).

READ MORE HiLo Hero shout-outs.



David Smay is the co-editor of two books about pop music, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, and Lost in the Grooves. He's also the author of Swordfishtrombones, the 33 1/3 series entry on Tom Waits. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.