Bikini Girls With Machine Guns

I’ve been listening a lot lately to a new channel on Sirius Satellite Radio: a couple of weeks ago they launched a “punk” channel. Right now there’s no air personalities, just wall-to-wall punk rock. The classics mixed with some new stuff and a ton of things I haven’t heard in ages.

One band they’re playing fairly often is the Cramps. This band is another that seems as if they’ve been around forever. And the fact of the matter is they pretty much have.

Singer Lux Interior and guitarist Ivy Rorschach met in 1972 in California. Three years later, they were living in New York, rubbing shoulders with the Ramones, Patti Smith, and other seminal acts at CBGB.

Since then (I know I skipped something like 35 years. See the band’s site for the complete story), they’ve released 14 albums and gone through 18 band members, with Lux and Poison Ivy being the only constants. Their latest release is 2004’s How to Make a Monster, a two-disk “frightfest of previously unreleased rare tracks.”

The music I’ve got today comes partly from the 1989 disk Stay Sick. The first track, “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns,” was the band’s only Top 10 single. The other song, “Jackyard Backoff,” I don’t think was released anywhere other than the “Bikini Girls” single. At least not that I could find.

Bikini Girls With Machine Guns.mp3
Jackyard Backoff.mp3

As an aside, the Cramps claim to have invented the term “pyschobilly.” According to the Wiki entry on the word, its likely origin comes from the 1976 Johnny Cash song, “One Piece at a Time,” where the lyrics refer to a “psychobilly Cadillac.” The Cramps probably did, however, popularize the term as a musical genre when they described their music as “psychobilly” and “rockabilly voodoo” on flyers advertising their concerts.

As a further aside, YouTube has some classic Cramp clips, like this one from the 1984 concert at the Napa State Mental Hospital.

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At 11:01 AM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

Quote to remember at the Napa gig-
Lux Interior: “Somebody told me you people were crazy. But I don't think so! You look alright to me!,”

At 8:48 PM , Blogger aikin said...

I hear the whole show is on video - I'd love to see it if I can find it somewhere.

At 12:17 AM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

it's on amazon for under 20 clams:



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