X Marks The Spot

Punk Legends
Celebrate 40 Years

Story by Shawn Perry
Photos by Ron Lyon

X, the seminal Los Angeles punk band, have been honored for their four decades of service with a new Grammy Museum exhibit filled with artifacts, including original instruments and gear, Exene Cervenka and John Doe's handwritten lyrics and notebooks, clothing, original concert flyers for L.A. shows, rare photographs, artwork and more.

On Wednesday, October 11, the band's four original members — singer Exene Cervenka, singer and bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake — were bestowed with a special proclamation by the City of Los Angeles in a ceremony at City Hall.

Then on Friday, October 13, the band opened their Grammy Museum exhibit and joined executive director Scott Goldman for an intimate Q&A in the Clive Davis Theater, followed by a rare rooftop performance. Considered one of the best bands in the first wave of LA's flourishing punk scene, the show featured material drawn from their seven studio albums, spanning 1980 through 1993.

On display in the Special Exhibits Gallery on the second floor of the Grammy Museum, X: 40 Years Of Punk In Los Angeles gives visitors a glimpse into how X’s four original members quickly established their band as one of the best in the first wave of LA’s flourishing punk scene. It runs through March 2018.

X has made the most of their 40th anniversary by playing a flurry dates across the country. In August, they made a special appearance at the LA Dodgers vs. Chicago White Sox game where John Doe led the National Anthem and Exene threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Also in August, X launched a Kickstarter campaign to release their first ever live album, X! Live in Latin America, exclusively through the campaign. With an original goal of raising $50,000 set, the band easily exceeded that with a final tally of over $161,000 when it ended on September 29.

To wrap up their 40th year, X have announced their annual holiday run of shows. They begin with a Los Angeles show on November 22 at Novo with a stellar lineup that will include Dave Alvin and the Guilty Ones, Alejandro Escovedo and Mike Watt opening the night. X will return just before the Christmas holidays with the final 2017 dates beginning December 22 in San Diego with the Meat Puppets & Mike Watt opening, followed by Santa Ana (December 23 and 24, also with the Meat Puppets & Mike Watt), Seattle (December 27), Portland (December 28), and finally winding up in San Francisco on December 30 to bring their 40th anniversary celebration to a close.

 

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