Nick Knox

Sad news to wake up to this morning- as well as what looks like a catastrophic fire the beautiful Glasgow School of Art building- is that Nick Knox, the longest serving drummer of The Cramps, died yesterday aged 60. Nick started his tenure with Lux and Ivy in 1977 and played on at least 4 classic Cramps albums before leaving in 1991- Songs The Lord Taught Us, Psychedelic Jungle, A Date With Elvis and Stay Sick! plus songs and singles on the essential compilations Off The Bone and Bad Music For Bad People. That’s your full Cramps set right there. RIP Nick Knox.

I was asked to dj at a friends 45th birthday party in Sheffield a few years ago, a party with guaranteed dancers and folk who would enjoy a good shindig. Which was very much true. Except with this song, which cleared the floor. Sometimes you’ve got to scare them away to bring them back again.

Bikini Girls With Machine Guns

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That Stuff Rubbed Off On Me

George requested Carl Perkins following the Perkins-Craig face off on Monday. I haven’t posted any rockabilly since my Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night series came to a close in March 2015. It began to feel like homework and a chore, two hundred and ten posts in, so it stopped. So this is a rockabilly reprise for a Thursday in March…

In 1956 Carl Perkins released Her Love Rubbed Off, a song that makes maximum use of Carl’s southern gargle, a psyched out guitar part and slap back echo. The lyric celebrates getting it on in a pretty frank style for 1956.

‘Well, I was so alone in the city park
I met my baby standing in the dark
Took my lovin’ baby by the hand
I let her know that I’m her lovin’ man

That love rubbed off on me
That baby wouldn’t let me be
That baby took me by the hand
That love, I made her understand
That love, I hollered no, no, no
That baby wouldn’t let me go, oh, oh’

Her Love Rubbed Off

In 1990 The Cramps twisted it further around, Lux and Ivy adding volume and distortion to Carl’s already pretty hot under the collar song. You just can’t beat The Cramps.

Her Love Rubbed Off  Correct link now.

Mystery Plane

The Cramps work like a palette cleanser or paint stripper- no matter what’s going on, what you’ve been listening to or what’s going through your head, they strip it all away, reduce it down to the bare bones. That’s a good thing.

In 1979 they recorded some demos with Alex Chilton. Many people consider these songs to be superior versions to the ones that came out a year later on Songs The Lord Taught Us. This version of Mystery Plane sounds as good as they look in the picture above, also from 1979.

Mystery Plane (Ohio Demo Version)

I Like To Sit In Back, Watch Out For The Cops

We’ve not had any action from The Cramps here for a while so let’s delve into Lux and Ivy’s world today. Stay Sick in 1990 is some kind of high watermark in Crampdom. After that there are fewer great Cramp moments. Look Mom No Head! from 1991 had this song on it, which never fails to raise the spirits.

Bend Over, I’ll Drive

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 159

Hallowe’en rockabilly special- yes, it has to be The Cramps and The Creature From The Black leather Lagoon (off 1990’s top drawer Cramp-fest Stay Sick). This video is NSFW. In fact, it may not be safe for home either.

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 138

We’re going to a wedding tomorrow. It won’t be a rockabilly wedding but I hope Dave makes a bit more effort than the groom pictured above. A suit wouldn’t have gone amiss.

 

Mel Robbins recorded Save It in the 1950s, making the short hop from honky tonk to rockabilly- that bandwagon won’t be around for long, better get on board. Save It is piano led with a thumping solo and a giggly, hiccuping, heavy breathing vocal.

Save It

The Cramps covered it, slowing it down, ramping up the heavy breathing and adding a distinct air of sexual tension. This fan made video is very good.

 

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 123

My recent spurt of Cramps enthusiasm has led me back to some of the source material. On Stay Sick! there is a suitably great and sleazy cover version of this song by the great Carl Perkins, from way back in 1956 and recorded for Sun Records. Carl has that pared down sound and and tone and wants to let her know that he’s ‘a lovin’ man’. This is risque, even lewd, stuff for the mid-1950s- he says he’ll take off all his clothes for her. His lovin’ is so much that she’ll follow him to the grave. And I can’t believe it was only Lux Interior who took her love rubbing off on him as literally and not just metaphorically.

Her Love Rubbed Off