Nick Knox, longtime drummer for the influential psychobilly band the Cramps, died Friday at the age of 60.
Fellow former members of the Cramps, including the band’s second drummer Miriam Linna and guitarist Kid Congo Powers confirmed Knox’s death on social media. No cause of death was provided.
Born Nicholas Stephanoff, Knox served as drummer in the short-lived Cleveland protopunk band the Electric Eels before joining Lux Interior and Poison Ivy in the Cramps in 1977, replacing Linna behind the drums.
“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,” Linna wrote in a lengthy Facebook tribute; prior to reconnecting in 2017, Linna and Knox hadn’t seen each other in 40 years.
Powers, who played alongside Knox on the Cramps’ Psychedelic Jungle, tweeted, “Nick Knox Coolest of the cool. R.I.P. Glad to have played to your boss Beat. Meet you on the mystery plane.”
Knox was the longest-tenured drummer of the Cramps, which disbanded in 2009 following the death of frontman Interior. The drummer played on four studio albums – 1980’s Alex Chilton-produced Songs the Lord Taught Us, 1981’s Psychedelic Jungle, 1986’s A Date With Elvis and 1990’s Stay Sick! – as well as the punkabilly progenitors’ 1979 debut EP Gravest Hits.
Knox left the Cramps in 1991 and largely retreated from the music scene, collaborating with a handful of Ohio-area bands and DJing over the ensuing decades, Linna wrote.
“Many people will have great memories of Nicky,” Linna added. “I thank God that Nicky was a friend of mine. He was one of the kindest, funniest, most amazing human beings ever and I was very lucky to have been in his orbit.”
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