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 garage punk 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. Two years later they moved to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and then to New York City. In 1976, as part of the emerging punk rock scene, they began performing as the Cramps. 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 2009, enjoying some commercial success (mainly in Europe) and acquiring a strong cult following worldwide.
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.
Throughout the Cramps' career Ivy co-wrote (with Lux and occasionally other band members) 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 in a relationship with Lux Interior for 37 years, until his death on February 4, 2009. She lives in California.
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).
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