Original Cramps Guitarist Dies

Bryan Gregory, whose sister was also in early version of punk band, was known for rowdy stage antics.

Guitarist Bryan Gregory, a founding member of long-running punk band the Cramps who was known for his rowdy stage antics, died Wednesday at a California hospital. He was 46.

Anaheim Memorial Medical Center spokesperson Gina Esparza could not say the cause of death on Friday (January 12), but Gregory, a Detroit native, recently suffered a heart attack and had been ill for several weeks, according to the Associated Press.

Gregory and his sister, drummer Pam "Balam" Gregory, formed the Cramps with singer Lux Interior and guitarist Poison Ivy in 1975. The band debuted the following year at the legendary punk club CBGB in New York.

The Cramps' wild blend of rockabilly, psychedelia and punk was captured on 1979's Alex Chilton-produced Gravest Hits EP and 1980's Songs the Lord Taught Us. Gregory then suddenly left the band — his sister had left only a few months — and the Cramps went on to release several albums, including 1997's Big Beat From Badsville on Epitaph. Interior and Ivy, who have gone through a string of guitarists, bassists and drummers since Gregory's departure, are still touring and recording as the Cramps.

Gregory performed with the band Beast from 1980 to 1984, and with the Dials from 1992 to 1995, according to AP. He had recently formed a band called Shiver.

Gregory appeared with other Cramps members as "punk thugs" in the 1978 film "The Foreigner."