On shtick: If any of you saw the Ig early on, and as a highly impressionable teen, you know nobody would follow that brand of stage antics. I was a latecomer, seeing him in '73, and that was the end-uh, little girl. Bryan says he saw the Stooges a hundred times back in Michigan, including as the Psychedelic Stooges. And Bator's claim to fame was that he was the kid who handed Iggy the peanut butter at the 1970 Cincinnati Pop Festival. Remember, SB kept PB on hand for dermatological purposes. Anyway, the raging popularity of full-on punk rock and psychobilly would flame on for eons. Years later, people would say, "You were in the Cramps? Did you wear a red rubber dress? Did you look like Bettie Page?" And it was like, no, my wildest look was a worn out jacket, sneakers, and eye make up by Sherwin Williams. On my own fan wagon end of things, it was all about the Flamin Groovies, through various incarnations and lineups. And on the band front, well, we'll cover it all, so don't miss one gripping moment (zzzzz) as there may be a pop quiz. So let's slide with this segue into Grooviesdom, not a bad place to be. At all. And not to fret, many more pre-1976 letters and photos and anecdotes to come from the Dark Ages. This stuff should have gone into space in '77 with the Voyager's golden record. But then again it might have scared future civilizations in distant galaxies in deep space, beyond the Milky Way. Again, a pet topic for another post.
Cramps line up #2 (1977-1980)
This old print ad of the second line-up just floated up from the sump. Holy cow! The Cramps changed their image with the lineup and the rest is history, their own, very colorful history. Nick Knox (Stephanoff) arrived in NYC in late July of 1977, with his shiny, cool, new drum kit, not that Nick brought any weird ass stage wear with him. He was always the velvet jacket/black slacks Kink type guy back in Cleveland. This ad was the turning point, the start of their psychobilly signature. Had they caved in to the Sex Pistols and Damned and what-all from across the pond and beyond, what with the straps and all? Regardless, their timing was impeccable. Summer vacation, 1977, brought in a new slew of young uns getting their first taste of that crazy little sensation called Punk Rock. Right around this time, the Fleshtones started sharing a rehearsal space with the new Cramps, and the 'Tones were in some kind of talks with a rock entrepreneur who said he could makes them stars if they dressed like vegetables. Did I dream this? Thankfully Zaremba and the lads told the guy to take a hike.