“Somebody told me you people are crazy, but I’m not so sure about that…. you seem to be all right to me.” So says lead singer Lux Interior of The Cramps, challenging the mainstream stereotype of the crowd assembled before him at the Napa State Hospital.
On June 13, 1978, the soon-to-be legendary rock band went to play Napa State, a psychiatric hospital in the small town of Napa in Northern California. Opening for them was The Mutants, an eclectic septet of art school punks from nearby San Francisco. Also in the van was seminal Bay Area art collective Target Video, there to capture the show using one of the first video cameras available to the public, democratizing a medium controlled by mainstream media outlets.
What resulted may be the most unique punk show ever, as the two bands played for the residents at the hospital, a rehabilitation facility that was skimming the danger of being shut down by former California Governor Ronald Reagan.
The Cramps' infamous 1978 performance at Napa State Mental Hospital with The Mutants was released as a VHS tape in the late '80s, but now there's a new version with the complete unedited performances for the first time ever, including The Mutants' set, which was previously unreleased. It's getting released on Blu-ray on June 13, the 45th anniversary of the show. You can watch a segment of the Cramps' performance below.
Also that day, it will screen at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Williamsburg (6/13) as part of the BrooklynVegan-presented Music Driven series. After the movie there will be a Q&A with Sally Mutant of The Mutants. Tickets are on sale, and you can check out the poster below.