Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Cramps, live at Napa State Mental Hospital (1978)

Many of you will remember that I had posted a clip from this earlier. In honor of the late, great Lux Interior, here's some more footage from that legendary show.




In June 1978, the Cramps, a pioneering New York-based rock band who blend the primitive twangy stomp of rockabilly with the attitude and willful perversity of punk, were touring the West Coast and discovered they’d been lined up with perhaps the most unusual gig of their career. The Cramps were booked to play a show at the Napa State Mental Hospital, a facility for the emotionally challenged, and found themselves facing an audience that was half smuggled-in punk fans and half in-patients whose reaction to the performance was often vocal and demonstrative. A cameraman from the punk-oriented video collective Target Video was on hand with a primitive black-and-white camera, and the results became the infamous The Cramps: Live at the Napa State Mental Hospital. As the band faced a truly unusual audience, it roared through a handful of songs, including “Human Fly,” “Love Me,” “Domino,” “The Way I Walk,” “What’s Behind the Mask,” and “T.V. Set.”

The Cramps


Anonymous said...

Great find. I know the Cramps rock, but who knew they could be heartwarming?

It's interesting to try and figure out which people in the audience are residents and which are posers.

John M. said...

I agree. It's always a pleasant surprise to see stories like this.

If you found that heartwarming, you'll probably enjoy this item:

As far as the audience is concerned, I wondered much the same as you did - although it seems that the distinctions are blurred somewhere in the middle!