Once upon a time, in a magical, far-away land called Sacramento, there lived an awesome chick by the name of Kristy Marlana Wallace. At the ripe age of 19, Kristy met a strapping young gentleman by the name of Erik Lee Purkhiser, who would later become her husband. Deciding that "Kristy" and "Erik" weren't quite edgy enough, the duo decided to change their names to-what else?-Poison Ivy and Lux Interior and form a punk/rockabilly band that would later come to change the face, style and sound of rock and roll. After dubbing themselves "The Cramps", Ivy and Lux packed up their stuff, got the hell out of dodge, and after a few travels, ultimately ended up in NYC.
The rest, as they say, is history. Although they went through several band members throughout their 33 years in the music biz, Ivy and Lux remained true to The Cramps and true to each other until Lux's shocking death from an aortic dissection in early 2009. After his passing the group naturally disbanded, leaving Poison Ivy without a lover and without a band. However, as sad as the last part of that story may be, Ivy remains an inspiration for many reasons to the past, present, and future punk rockers of the world. Her unique sense of fashion, combined with her ability to wail on the guitar is the stuff that legends are made of. Quite frankly, there will probably never be another chick quite so cool. She did what she want, how she wanted, without worrying about appealing to a mass audience. In short, she always has been and always will be one of a kind. And while most might not see things this way, I find her love affair with Lux to be among the most romantic of all time. Forget Tristan and Isolde. Screw Romeo and Juliette. Give me a guy who loves his girl the way she is any day of the week. A dude that encourages his lady to go balls to the wall. Someone who isn't afraid to let his woman shine. Likewise, Ivy had the common sense and self esteem to recognize that she was a beautiful and unique snowflake, who deserved a man who appreciated all the amazing contributions she brought to the table. So here's to Poison Ivy, one of my biggest influences. Not only is she one of the best role models in rock and roll, but she's also our Slacker Chic of the Week.