Written by: Alex Green
Nick Knox, who played drums for the legendary psychobilly outfit The Cramps has died.
Knox, who was 60, played on the first four Cramps albums and stayed with the band from 1977-1991, making him their longest serving drummer.
Born Nicholas George Stephanoff in Ohio, Knox was a member of the Cleveland proto-punk outfit the Electric Eels before joining the Cramps’ fold as the replacement for Miriam Linna.
With his slick black hair and natural good looks, Knox would often play wearing dark sunglasses with a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth.
“He was the punk rock Charlie Watts,” SEM’s Matt Sloan recalls. “He played these dark, vicious beats, but he never seemed to be breaking a sweat.”
Former Cramps member Kid Congo Powers described Knox on Twitter as the “Coolest of the cool.”
He went on to write: “Glad to have played to your boss beat. Meet you on the mystery plane.”
Linna, who had been friends with Knox before either of them had joined the Cramps, wrote a lengthy and moving tribute to Knox on Facebook: “Nicky was a voracious reader- he read every rock n roll biography and autobiography – checked out from the library, and he had the benefit of a near-photographic memory, and an astonishing ability to recall dates and places, and really minute details. More than any book, though, he was addicted, still, to his beloved MAD magazine, and also to the little game schedule of Indians games. He gave me one of those pocket scheds and said, “I am not available at game time.” So strict!”
She went on to write: “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.”
Although he last played live in 2003 with The Pagans, Knox recently served as a mentor for the Ohio band Archie and the Bunkers.