Nick Knox of the Cramps passed away Friday and former bandmate Fur Dixon took the time to write a tribute, which is running exclusively here on CaliforniaRocker.com. Dixon and Knox were recently reacquainted after 29 years.
By FUR DIXON
I was just now looking through my emails from Nicky. The last one was dated Mar 1, 2018. Short and sweet, he wrote, ‘I love you more than ever before, Fur.’ What a sweet gift.
The Nicky Knox I became re-acquainted with was a no-holds-barred expression of love and enthusiasm for the people he cared about.
Cleveland Indians and Hollywood Hillbillys
My ex-husband Gary Dickstein and I became friends with Nicky in Hollywood around 1985, a year or so before we met Lux and Ivy. He loved our band the Hollywood Hillbillys. Nicky was literally, no shit, our band’s biggest fan.
Gary and Nicky would talk Cleveland Indians baseball and the Cleveland Browns football for hours, man. I was stoned, oblivious and cared not. But if you knew Nicky, you knew he lived and breathed for his home teams. Eventually he convinced Lux and Ivy to see the Hollywood Hillbillys live, and straight away they asked me to join the Cramps as their first bass player. It took a few months, but in March 1986 away I went, off to tour Europe, Cramps style, age 24. 1986 was the last time I saw Nicky until 2015.
Meeting at Beachwood Ballroom in Cleveland
After 29 years apart, I took a trip from LA and we met up at the Beachwood Ballroom in Cleveland. It was August, hot and sweaty, but Nicky was impeccably dressed and cool as ever.
We sat outside on a bench between sets by Archie and the Bunkers and the Rezillos, two more of his all-time favorite bands. He smoked and we talked about our time together as rhythm-section and cellmates during the ’86 “A Date With Elvis” tour.
Knox Had a Love for The Music
It was so good for both of us. It helped us both fill in some blanks and put some history into perspective.
A day or two later, Nicky took us on a grand tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was so proud of the Rock Hall and took his own participation there with joy, but very seriously. Nicky’s love of music – not just limited to rock and roll, its history and its relation to Cleveland never got old for him. It was a magic trip and I felt like I had my brother back.
Every phone call we’ve had ever since was special. I felt like it was borrowed time that I never could have dreamed I’d get to have.
Nicky, you will always be in my heart and part of the rhythm in my soul.
Sending love and strength to his family, friends and fans.
Fur Dixon, June 16, 2018