Poison Ivy (musician)

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Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy performing in 2005
Background information
Birth name Kristy Marlana Wallace
Also known as Poison Ivy, Poison Ivy Rorschach
Born (1953-02-20) February 20, 1953 (age 64),
San Bernardino, California, United States
Genres Punk, psychobilly, rock and roll
Instruments Electric guitar
Years active 1976–2009
Associated acts The Cramps
Website www.thecramps.com

Kristy Marlana Wallace (born February 20, 1953), known as Poison Ivy or Poison Ivy Rorschach, is a guitarist, songwriter, arranger, producer, and occasional vocalist who co-founded the American rockabilly band The Cramps.


Ivy was born in San Bernardino, California and raised near Sacramento; in 1972, while attending Sacramento State College, Wallace met future Cramps singer Lux Interior.[1] Two years later they moved to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and then to New York City;[2] in 1976, as part of the emerging punk rock scene, they began performing as the Cramps.[3] They quickly gained a reputation for their unusual, rockabilly-inspired music and wild live performances, the Cramps, with Ivy, Lux, and various other guitarists, drummers, and bassists, continued to release records and perform live until the fall of 2006, enjoying some commercial success (mainly in Europe) and acquiring a strong cult following worldwide.[4]

Songs written by Poison Ivy/Lux Interior and performed by other artists include "Human Fly" (Crestfallen, The Dead Brothers, Nouvelle Vague, Supernaut, Hanni El Khatib); "New Kind of Kick" (The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Drones); and "Thee Most Exalted Potentate of Love" (Queens of the Stone Age).


Early on, Ivy used a clear plexiglass Dan Armstrong guitar, then the unusual Canadian-made Bill Lewis guitar heard on the first few Cramps recordings, since 1985 she has mostly used a 1958 Gretsch 6120 hollow-body. She uses Fender Pro Reverb amplifiers onstage, and smaller Valco and Allen amps in the studio.[5]


Throughout The Cramps' career Ivy co-wrote with Lux Interior all of the group's original songs and provided the arrangements for songs they covered, she produced or co-produced several of their albums and singles, sang on the songs "Kizmiaz" and "Get Off the Road," and played theremin on later records.

She was married to Cramps' singer Lux Interior, with whom she had been for 37 years, until his death on February 4, 2009,[6] she lives in California.


  1. ^ Pius (23 February 1992). "Poison Ivy 1992 Interview" (Interview). PENETRATING INSIGHTS. Nonozeroblog.blogspot.com. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Jas Obrecht (August 1990). "Oooh! Poison Ivy". Guitar Player Magazine. Phnet.fi. Archived from the original (Article) on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  3. ^ J. H. Sasfy (1979). "The Cramps biography" (Extract from early biography). Liner notes of The Cramps 1979 release Gravest Hits. Thecramps.com. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Garry Mulholland (December 2006). "Aloha from hell! The grave tale of a dead serious rock’n’roll band" (Article). The Stool Pigeon. Thestoolpigeon.co.uk. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Family

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