When I took one of my sociological ethnography courses at PSU, my professor would begin our 8am class by rocking some X or The Ramones. Growing up listening to a lot of punk it was always a treat to start the morning off with – particularly with a female-fronted punk band there’s really no comparison to.
Arguably one of the most influential and groundbreaking punk bands of their time, Los Angeles-based X have endured 35 years of music and performance, with all original members still intact!
Forming in 1977 alongside punk groups like The Ramones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols. Vocalists Exene Cervenka and John Doe met at a poetry workshop in Venice, CA and immediately began writing music together. Guitarist Billy Zoom and bassist John Doe met after publishing nearly identical want ads looking to start a band. Drummer DJ Bonebrake filled out the band’s lineup and they released 1980′s Los Angeles, which catapulted them onto the scene.
The band toured all around the world for decades, releasing new albums and continually growing and evolving their sound while performing to punk rockers of all ages. As testament to their profound influence on the scene, Rolling Stone ranked both Los Angeles and Wild Gift as being among the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. X were also awarded the Certificate of Recognition from the city of Los Angeles in acknowledgment of its contribution to Los Angeles music and culture, which should indicate the band’s success outside of just the punk scene.
After a brief hiatus and reunion in 1998, the band took another break until 2008, when they began touring again. One of the few founding punk bands to still tour with their original lineup, X are still going strong, releasing new music and impressing their adoring fans.
Check out DJ Bonebrake at one of my favorite record shops, Amoeba Music on Record Store Day last week:
X is still tearing it up, 35 years later! Don’t miss a fun night of punk rock memories on May 11th at the Crystal Ballroom. All of Portland (or at least those who know good music) is going to be there – so I suggest picking up your tickets today! Bring some friends and come hang out!