THE CRAMPS PLAY SOME OF THEIR FAVORITE SINGLES ON BBC RADIO, 1984.
In 1984, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy Rorschach were the guests on a BBC Radio 1 show that was apparently called Collectors’ Choice and hosted by veteran DJ Kid Jensen. They brought a short stack of singles and the secret teachings of all ages. Unlike many broadcasts of this kind that turn up on the webs, this one includes all the records Lux and Ivy selected for the show, perhaps because safeguarding Marvin Rainwater’s copyright is not the RIAA’s most urgent concern.
The interview is an education. Lux makes the case for (well, asserts) Link Wray being the “first progressive rock guitarist” and Ivy explains why the names of some East L.A. bands start with “Thee.”
Threatening to answer Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” with a single of their own called “Rockabilly Jean,” they diagnose the problem with our modern American sounds:
Lux: I hope that somehow people will forget about this “No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones” and get back into the history of rock ‘n’ roll, and get back into the simplicity of it, and the stripped-down, rock ‘n’ roll, nuclear warfare, over-the-topness of what it was when it first started, because there’s just something missing today. Everybody’s either out for their career, or something, making pop music, or making really involved musical things, you know, and rock ‘n’ roll is just so simple and so direct, it doesn’t seem like there are very many people who have a handle on understanding what that is.
Kid Jensen: Many people who would agree with you would regard rock ‘n’ roll as disposable, though. They would say it’s there to be listened to, two-minute records, that’s it. Throw it away.
Lux: Well, but they’re disposable people, though, so it doesn’t matter.
Kid Jensen: ‘Cause you obviously cherish these old records.
Lux: Oh, yeah. These are magic items, these records.
The DJ set:
Cannibal & the Headhunters “Zulu King” (3:10)
Thee Midniters “Jump, Jive, and Harmonize” (9:24)
Andre Williams “Pass the Biscuits Please” (14:23)
Marvin Rainwater “Hot and Cold” (21:37)
Starlites “Valarie” (26:59)