By Jen Hazen
Published: March 1st, 2005
Poison Ivy Rorschach (a.k.a. Kristy Wallace) is sex personified. Perhaps it’s her languid stare as she slinks across the stage in a sheer black dress and stiletto heels. Maybe it’s the way she wields her guitar like a weapon she’s going to use to slap you on the ass for being naughty. Whatever the case, this hot musician has been mesmerizing fans for more than 30 years, and she’s not about to stop now.
Since meeting the Cramps’ lead singer, Lux Interior, in 1972 (he picked her up as a hitchhiker), Ivy has acquired many provocative talents. Such as? Actually, the self-taught guitarist has a secret affair with her favorite instrument, which she calls “Big O.” “It’s a 1958 orange Gretsch. I just will it not to go out of tune, I swear,” she said. “I’m just kind of married to it when I’m playing it. ... I just feel like I’m home.”
Poison Ivy has also graced many Cramps album covers in cat suits, sequins, and thigh-highs. “Lux’s main love is pinup photography, and he mainly likes shooting me,” Ivy said.
A lesser-known talent is Ivy’s stint as a dominatrix in the early days of the Cramps. “Some of the clients were very successful businessmen or politician types — people who were normally in power and just wanted to give it up for an hour,” she recalled. “I didn’t know what an ‘English massage’ was before I worked there. ... It’s a beating.”