Nick Knox, the former drummer of The Cramps, dies at 60

The furrow-browed drummer of the punk band, The Cramps, died at the age of 60, although how he died remains unknown.


                            Nick Knox, the former drummer of The Cramps, dies at 60

The Cramps drummer, Nick Knox, who was known to be the furrow-browed drummer of the great punk band, died on Friday at the age of 60. The drummer played with the Cramps in their first four classic albums, including 'Human Fly', 'Sunglasses After Dark', and 'Call of the Wighat'. Knox was also a part of the band's infamous concert in 1978 at the Napa State Mental Hospital, where the Cramps tore through a set for the institution's patients. 

Former members of the Cramps, including the band's second drummer Mirian Linna and guitarist Kid Congo Powers, confirmed Knox's death on social media. The reason of death is not yet known. Linna records in a lengthy Facebook post: "I last saw Nicky – Nick Knox- - who most you know as the drummer of note for 70’s bands the electric eels and the Cramps, last weekend, in intensive care at the Cleveland Clinic. It was heartbreaking, as I had spent a few great days with him at the end of April when I went out to Ohio to hunt down photos from George Shuba and meet with Wally Bryson regarding the record we were about to issue on his great band, the Choir. Nicky had seemed well and happy at that time, all charged up and ready to go. We had a ball with George, and it was great listening to the two of them talking about every rock n roll show that had ever happened in Cleveland, it seems."

Linna shared memories of her time with Knox, from when they knew each other before being in bands to when they rekindled their old friendship after 40 years. She wrote of how his phone call out of the blue saved her "from falling into a well," their Cleveland music history and their deep, shared love of the Kinks, and how her return to "speaking with Nicky every day reminded me of the really fantastic days of fandom and record hoarding."

Powers paid tribute to Knox on Twitter

Former members of the band took to social media to pay tribute to Knox. (Twitter)
Former members of the band took to social media to pay tribute to Knox. (Twitter)

"My friend Nick Knox shuffled off the mortal coil last night," Morton, of the Electric Eels, wrote on Twitter Friday (June 15).

Born as Nicholas Stephanoff, the drummer served in the short-lived Cleveland protopunk band, the 'Electric Eels', before joining Lux Interior and Poison Ivy in the Cramps in 1977, according to a Rolling Stone report. Knox has served as the longest-tenured drummer for the Cramps on four studio albums- 'Songs the Lord Taught Us' (produced by Alex Chilton in 1980), 'Psychedelic Jungle' in 1981, 'A Date With Elvis' in 1986 and 'Stay Sick!' in 1990.

Knox left the Cramps in 1991, and almost removed himself from the music scene. Although he would still collaborate with a handful of Ohio-based bands and DJing over the decades. The Cramps were the contemporaries of New York's CBGB scene alongside the Ramones, Television, and others. 

Knox has served as the longest-tenured drummer for the Cramps. (YouTube)
Knox has served as the longest-tenured drummer for the Cramps. (YouTube)