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Incredibly Strange Music Vol. I Excerpt: The Cramps

Back to Incredibly Strange Music Vol. I

Ivy Rorschach RE/Search: How did you meet?

IVY RORSCHACH: We met in 1974 in college in Sacramento, California. Under the guise of the Art Department there were classes like “Art and Shamanism,” which was really a study of amanita muscaria; the textbook was The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. The class was real loose; the teacher would ask you, “What grade do you want, an A?” He would gravitate toward certain students and invite them to “heavier” classes at his home–he had this fabulous spread. Lux and I met in his class, although actually we met hitchhiking.

Lux Interior

LUX INTERIOR: There isn’t that much to tell about that first encounter–she was hitchhiking and I picked her up. Later, we would both hitchhike down to San Francisco and back every weekend, barefoot.

IR: We met hitchhiking , we talked and discovered we were going to see each other again in this teacher’s class. Actually, the first kiss was in this instructor’s house–we’d taken mushrooms, I think.

R/S: Tell us about some strange records you’ve found–

LI: There are a lot of great slow instrumentals on the B side of rockabilly singles, and a lot of them sound like Martin Denny in a way, but weirder because it was just the band having fun-they figured no one would ever listen to them. That’s a whole genre I never see any reissues of. And that is incredibly strange music, because it was all these hillbillies on speed!

IR: A lot of people who collect rockabilly think those B sides aren’t any good. But it’s a whole other world

LI: They sound like what a stripper would have stripped to in the 50s. It’s considered schlock, but eventually even that will become something: a genre.

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