I've told this story a few times, but I think it bears repeating. I first got in to The Cramps shortly after the Stay Sick album came out. Also right around that time I developed this irrational desire for music of all kinds, but mostly centered around punk and rockabilly.
So at this point I had bought every Cramps record I could find and the fever had me pretty good. I was going to the record store once or twice a week looking for stuff. One day in the armpit of NH (Nashua), I came across this fabulous looking CD called NO REASON TO COMPLAIN by a band called The Sickidz. I LOVED the artwork. It was in black and white and featured these cool bug eyed creature/kids with rotted teeth, etc.
I flipped the CD over (sorry no LP to be found, and at this time I hadn't really gotten in to vinyl that much), and noticed that track one said; introduction Lux Interior, Hot Club 1979. Ok, this told me two things. It was endorsed by Lux and it was from the late 70's. It had to be good or at least interesting!
I forked over my 15 bux or whatever it was and eagerly went to my car so I could listen to the CD. Sure enough, here was Lux's voice intro-ing the band. You can hear the screaming of the audience. Lux admonishes them not to be offended by the naked girl down on the floor at the front of the stage. And introduces the band by calling them the completely IN-rageous SICKIDZ!
So at this point I'm all excited and can't wait to hear the 2nd track! It's called ON A JONES. The music starts. How do I put this? On a Jones starts with one bass note repeated again and again. the drums follow at the same rate....the guitar comes in....what in thee hell am I listening to? I'm not sure what to make of it. The song is like 5 minutes long and is pretty jarring to say the least. Oh, and it's about Jonestown! Why would you start an album this way? I think to myself.
The 3rd track plays. Its called FRENZY. It hits hard and it's primitive and I fucking love it. Track after track of great tunes. Songs about the living dead, rhythm gurls, Neanderthal men, and the greatest cover of teen angel that you'll ever fucking hear.
I get home and I listen to it again immediately. ON A JONES is even growing on me. Before you know it, it's one of the tunes I put on EVERY compilation tape I make for people I know. 10 years later it's one of the songs that led me to creating my own band. We ended 99 percent of our shows with that song.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Also during this time, something called Napster was invented. I'm not going to get into the file sharing debate, but this also led me to meeting and finding out about tons of bands large and small. One day, I "meet" a fellow download-er who says something along the lines of; "hey, you have some sickidz stuff! The drummer is a friend of mine!" We get to know each other (he's a Cramps nut too) and "talk" all the time.
Before you know it, I'm "meeting" said drummer (now guitarist) of the Sickidz. I find out they still play shows on occasion! At one point, he mentions that they are playing a show in New Jersey with THE MAD DADDYS (another band I had discovered around this time because of the Cramps connection)!
Holy shit, I think, this is worth a trip to Jersey. We pack up the car (my future wife, and a friend who would become the future bass player in my band) and hit the fuckin' road. The trip takes something like 7 or 8 hours because of a snow/ice storm. We stay at some cheap hotel and notice something called a "Fudruckers" right next door.
So, like most people staying in north jersey, we plan to leave almost immediately and hit NYC the next day and then head back to Jersey for the show that night. We spend the day in NYC record shopping, etc. At one point we see that ? and the Mysterians are playing that night too. So we get back to our hotel, and I call the club to see what time the show starts.
Me: Hey, what time does the show start tonight?
Them: It's not...
Them: Yeah, one of the members of the Mad Daddys broke his hand or something. The show's canceled!
Ugh! Man we were all so pumped for this show. Do we take the train back to NYC to see Question Mark (which would be kind of a pain in the ass)? Nope we head to Fudruckers for dinner and leave the next day. The trip would become known as the time we risked life and limb to drive 7 hours in a snow storm to eat at a Fudruckers in North Jersey.....
Now. Since this trip I have seen the Sickidz a handful of times (once even opening for The Cramps), and even seen their new incarnation, Dixy Blood a few times too. Some members have seen my band and actually enjoyed our stuff too. I have come to know the members of the band and we have all become friends. A friendship I treasure.
2 years ago I floated the idea of Lux Lives to them and how cool it would be to do a tribute to Lux in Philadelphia. They totally got behind the idea and the show was a great success. This year, they have already played the 2nd Philly Lux Lives and are doing something I thought they'd never do; play a show in New York City for the Lux Lives at Otto's Shrunken Head. This is their first time in NYC as Dixy Blood and the first time they've played NYC in many years. Their set is a GREAT tribute to The Cramps that you will not want to miss!
The Sickidz along with Twin Guns will be Playing at the Midnite Monster Hop at Otto's Shrunken Head on Saturday February 28th.