“I know a place that’s far from here
Where the squares they won’t come near.”
Last Saturday I turned 30. Nothing feels different, and I still look about 15. Maybe I made a pact with the devil at an early age, and I don’t recall it. Anyway, as someone who isn’t really a fan of birthdays I have someone who wanted me to have a damn good day. She did just that, and more. She got me a record that I had no idea I was getting. A month earlier I ruined a surprise by attempting to buy one she had already got me. I don’t pick up on signals, I need to be told. Even if it involves me potentially ruining a surprise! This one record she got me has blown my mind and I find myself playing it every day. I either play it whilst I get ready for work or when I get home. Sometimes both. My love for The Cramps started in 1996. I was 10 years old and I was going through a cupboard in the house. I was looking for something, not sure what but I found a mixtape. I picked it up and asked my stepdad if I could listen to it- being the cool person he is, he said yes. He told me all about the band before I went upstairs to my room and fell in love with Lux’s voice.
I wish I could remember what song was on the tape, but I’m pretty sure it might have been Human Fly. There was a Sisters Of Mercy live tape that I took also. Along with The Cure. I was being exposed at a young age to the bands that would form something inside of me that is still there. It’s never going to go. Its one thing about me I won’t ever fight off.
The record I was given on my birthday last Saturday was A Date With Elvis. She had gone through their records, listened to them all and found the one she thought I’d love the most. I think this proves just how well she knows me and how bloody great she is. A Date With Elvis is such a great record, and for me to shows everything about The Cramps that I love, and fell in love with 20 years ago. I love the raw and creepy sound that is consistent on all their records but there’s something about A Date With Elvis that heightens all of this.
The record opens with one of the greatest songs by them, How Far Can Too Far Go? Alright so some may say it isn’t their greatest but it’s pretty much my favourite. I love the words and I absolutely adore Lux’s voice on this song. The record came out the year I entered the world and it was produced by the beautiful Poison Ivy. Three is the magic number, kids and The Cramps proved that so easily with this record. Everything about the wonderfully sexualised lyrics and dirty guitar makes it for pleasurable listening. It is the record you should take home with you, to meet the parents. It’s the record you play as loud as you want. It’s the one you play to take you down a road of self-discovery. For some, the lyrics may be too much- but hey, don’t surround yourself with prudes. Let it all out. Let The Cramps drag it out of you.
A Date With Elvis is the kind of record that brings you to your knees because you can’t get over how great it is. For me it just embodies everything I love about music and everything I look for in music. It’s the right level of creepy, it’s loud and it’s in your face but not in an intrusive manner. It’s so beautifully produced and created. That brilliant Psychobilly mixed with a bit of Punk sound that they were known for comes alive on this record, maybe it is more apparent on this one. Maybe I’m just being biased because I wholeheartedly love this record, with all I have. I don’t have the best record player in the world but it is currently making Aloha From Hell sound like the masterpiece that it truly is.
There are many reasons why I am fascinated with certain bands, but I’ve never really set myself a reason for doing so with The Cramps. It just comes down to a whole bunch of reasons. Mainly that it’s completely fine to live outside of certain “norms” and to just be whoever and whatever the hell you want to be.