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Yes, the band. I love them. I know they've just played some shows in the US...anyone see them? I read that John Doe has been taking bit parts in cop shows. Has it come to this?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 22:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Plus the Raveonettes album sounds like Fisher Price "my first X album". Cute.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 22:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

dude, you don't even know about John Doe's acting career. He's in one of those hellish '80s videos for '60s songs. He kills a prostitute to the tune of the Doors' "LA Woman."

Still, nothing he's done is as insane as Henry Rollins' car wreckin' hostin' job.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 22:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I liked John Doe in Great Balls of Fire. He was underused in that.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 22:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'd love to see that. I was watching Henry Rollins in Heat just the other day. Ouch.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 22:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Henry gives the best performance in Johnny Mnemonic by default because he wears thick glasses, plays a doctor, gets to yell "If you're not expected then you're not invited - SO FUCK OFF!" and something like "yeah, when I last saw him he was...FUCKIN' YOUR MAMA!" or something. And then Dolph Lundregen crucifies him and stabs in the face. The last shot of henry is the knife's POV of Henry screaming.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 22:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Unless Billy Zoom is back in the band, it doesn't mean shit.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 22:52 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Henry Rollins in Heat

*looks around impatiently for Dan Perry*

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 22:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

John Doe is also in "Boogie Nights".

I love X, one of the best L.A. bands ever.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 23:29 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Billy Zoom's played with them on their last couple reunion tours. The hatchet is long buried, methinks. But I haven't seen them live in years...

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 15 January 2003 23:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

John Doe is in many films; he's still quite handsome. I've seen X a few times; great, great band.

Sean (Sean), Thursday, 16 January 2003 00:21 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not touching "Henry Rollins in Heat".

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 16 January 2003 00:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Dan's a smart man.

I, too, have seen X many times and enjoyed every minute of their shows. It's good to see that they've gotten back together, though i have to confess that i've not seen 'em since 1987 and haven't heard any of their new material (assuming they have some.) Personally, i think they peaked with _Los Angeles_/_Wild Gift_, but continued to put out great albums up to and including _See How We Are_, though there was a lot of change over that time period.

-Matt, who still thinks that Billy Zoom is one of the coolest guitarists on the planet.

Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Thursday, 16 January 2003 01:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not touching "Henry Rollins in Heat".

He'll be disappointed to hear that.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 16 January 2003 01:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

But does his dick resemble a soup can or not?

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Thursday, 16 January 2003 02:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

full of cream of chicken?

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 16 January 2003 02:50 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Half of it's red, and half of it's white.

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Thursday, 16 January 2003 03:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 16 January 2003 03:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

actually, me and the rest of the T-birds are snapping are fingers and going "wuzza wuzza wuzza...tell me more! tell me more!"

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 16 January 2003 03:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Saw X play a reunion show in Boston with Billy Zoom a couple of years ago. They were incredible. Probably the only show I've ever seen that peaked from beginning to end. And Billy Zoom has this aura around him that cannot be explained, because he just stands there with a silly grin on his face for two hours.

Jim M (jmcgaw), Thursday, 16 January 2003 13:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Who else but Nardwuar would ask:
Have you had problems with that, you know like people just trying to hassle you? Like, there's a new 'zine out called Stone Grass, and they talk about this girl from Washington, DC, that said she had sex with you and that your cock is shaped like a soup can. You know, another rumour, a 'soup can cock' for Henry Rollins.
Rollins: The Last girl I fucked in DC was this idiotic stripper chick who called herself "Aura". but I fucked her really good, so I don't know­

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Thursday, 16 January 2003 16:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

A 1998 interview with Billy Zoom.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 16 January 2003 18:52 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"I liked John Doe in Great Balls of Fire. He was underused in that. "

as opposed to D.Quaid's bobble-head, which was def. overused, to para-quote Linda Gail (the sister, not the child bride Myra Gale): "Jerry Lee is a lot of things, but goofy he ain't"

Otherwise John Doe with Ad-Rock in Roadside Prophets is best non-Alex Cox Alex Cox movie.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Thursday, 16 January 2003 18:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the link Jody Beth. I heard Zoom went not just born again christian but white supremicist. Nice to the interviewer felt otherwise. But I wish Mr. Seigal went ahead and asked the question on his mind instead of writing:
"I would come to find that Zoom hates New Yawk City New Yorkers like a Klansman hates people of color. A curious bigotry to be sure, but a considerable one to Zoom. I briefly wondered if "New Yorker" isn't code for "Jew," but I decided that I was just being paranoid."

Wild Gift is the only album I kept, btw.

Paula G., Thursday, 16 January 2003 19:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

... the australian X?

both of their albums are again available stateside.

mosurock (mosurock), Thursday, 16 January 2003 19:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

just making sure people have seen _The Unheard Music_

ron (ron), Thursday, 16 January 2003 20:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the double cd of los angeles/wild gift might very well be my #1 DID, if i had such a thing

ron (ron), Thursday, 16 January 2003 20:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Billy Zoom's guitar shop is just a couple of miles down the street from home (the old place now). Terrific guy - I still need to take my old Ampeg amp over there to get a ground line installed.

My unconditional love for X is well documented. I've probably seem them at least a dozen times over the years.

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Thursday, 16 January 2003 23:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I hate them.

Arthur (Arthur), Friday, 17 January 2003 04:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

They hate you too, Arthur.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 17 January 2003 06:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I know! Except DJ, he's a sweetheart.

Arthur (Arthur), Friday, 17 January 2003 15:21 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

You hate them??? I find that hard to believe! I'm surprised, Arthur. How can you hate them? I mean not even dislike?

Sean (Sean), Friday, 17 January 2003 15:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Their awful vocals, their edgy sub-Bukowski Beyond Baroque poetry workshop lyrics, Exene's crochety old punk granny routine, the way all my friends worship them. They always seemed so square compared to their '77-era peers. I hated them in the 70s, I hated them in the 80s, I hated them in the 90s and I hate them now.

OK, I don't really hate them, they have a couple of classic songs. It's more their attitude and their place in the Hilburnesque LA Rock Pantheon. They're my #1 "I Just Don't Get It" band.

Arthur (Arthur), Friday, 17 January 2003 16:16 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I still love X. It's nice to still love at least on of the punk bands I listened to and sang along with in junior high. I don't think they were terribly innovative, just good. I think their first three albums are very good to great. "More Fun in the New World" had some good tracks on it (esp. "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts"), but the overall sound is lacking. I give them credit for not simply trying to repeat their earlier style. Unfortunately, I still prefer the early music a lot more.

A lot of their songs really bounce and roll along quite nicely. Great hooks for a band that fell outside the circle of commerical success.

Rockist Scientist, Friday, 17 January 2003 17:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Exene's crochety old punk granny routine"

Have to say, I agree with Arthur on that.....I hate that shit too.

Still, Billy Zoom is one damn cool motherfucker.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 17 January 2003 17:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I didn't get them either until I saw X: The Unheard Music, which for some reason has never come out on video (much less DVD). There's a contender for our City Pages documentary festival (the curator brought the TAMI Show to Minneapolis last time for the first time in 20 years). Anyone know about this documentary and what became of it?

Pete Scholtes, Saturday, 18 January 2003 05:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

this is embarassing but when I was a kid I'd heard of them but I never actually botherd to buy any of their records until I read 'Less Than Zero' *ducks* the same applies to Elvis Costello *cowers* I was very, very young. Anyhow, the cd with 'Los Angeles' and 'Wild Gift' is on any top x00 cd list I'd ever make, though I do wish I could go back in time and keep Ray Manzarek the hell away from them.

James Blount, Saturday, 18 January 2003 05:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

yes lets steal the tapes and remix0r them with no organ

ron (ron), Saturday, 18 January 2003 07:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The organ is the best part! You're all gay!

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Saturday, 18 January 2003 07:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

uh, dan p. ah fuck it

ron (ron), Saturday, 18 January 2003 07:29 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

it's so cute with proper spelling :)

ron (ron), Saturday, 18 January 2003 07:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

jody can have the leftover organ dub mix

ron (ron), Saturday, 18 January 2003 07:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Now playing on WJBR: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=2:39:18|AM&sql=Axpev97l7kr5t


James Blount, Saturday, 18 January 2003 07:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

That's so heavy. Dude.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Saturday, 18 January 2003 07:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

Ugh...I sure didn't remember Ain't Love Grand being quite this "1985," if you know what I mean. Weird that "Love Shack" is a completely different song than the one The B-52's recorded 4 years later, but still sounds like a B-52's song.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 15 December 2008 09:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's recorded two years later than Ain't Love Grand, but, wow, "4th of July" is such a great song (it graced a "Sopranos" episode a couple of years ago too).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 15 December 2008 13:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

The demo version of 4th Of July from the 2cd Beyond and Back comp is even better. A little less slick and eighties-afied.

kornrulez6969, Monday, 15 December 2008 17:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ha! I was listening to "Los Angeles" the other day and was struck by how much it reminded me of the B-52s. Not sure if that's a good thing...

Still, I enjoy X in small doses, but have never loved them. I'd like to see what they are like in concert because I've heard nothing but good things. Maybe another reunion tour will happen.

Moodles, Monday, 15 December 2008 18:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

When the fuck is ATP gonna invite them to do Los Angeles in its entirety, as I've been dreaming about for some reason

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 15 December 2008 19:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

the B-52s were a big obnoxious convertible jalopy tootin down a dirty back road, and x were some kind of erratic used datsun swerving dangerously, going slow in the fast lane and fast in the slow

Tracer Hand, Monday, 15 December 2008 20:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Beyond And Back also has that live track prefaced by Exene telling a story about Debbie Harry giving her the cold shoulder when they met earlier in the day.

...out of that weakness, out of that envy, out of that fear.. (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 18 February 2014 05:39 (four years ago) Permalink

She had nothing but love onstage for Harry & Blondie when I saw X open for them recently

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 February 2014 13:14 (four years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Great documentary:


that's not my post, Sunday, 31 August 2014 07:19 (three years ago) Permalink

Hey thanks for posting that, I'd never seen it before and it's great. The sequence where they're moving the building through LA streets on a flatbed truck while "The Unheard Music" (the song) plays is amazing.

Also wish there was a full hour of John and Exene singing old country songs in their living room.

il balletto da bronx, yo (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Tuesday, 2 September 2014 08:21 (three years ago) Permalink

That sequence with the building moving through the streets of LA is insane. Some of it appears to have been filmed from inside the building ... had to know someone to get those shots.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 3 September 2014 04:46 (three years ago) Permalink

The original lineup is playing the first four albums over four nights in Chicago this week, anyone seen them recently? They're playing "More Fun in the New World" tonight, wish I could go but it seems to be sold out.

Immediate Follower (NA), Friday, 5 September 2014 17:31 (three years ago) Permalink

Was going to go last night but didn't. I'm sure it's fine. Sad to hear Exene has been doubling down on her conspiracy theories and rants, at least online.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 5 September 2014 18:19 (three years ago) Permalink

BigO has the "More Fun" show from NYC posted.

Hideous Lump, Saturday, 6 September 2014 05:31 (three years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

We saw them last week. Strongly suggest seeing them in their current pseudo-acoustic configuration. At least one-third of the set were songs I've never seen them play live ever - think the dive into the back catalog has reinvigorated them. John/Exene sounding great. No black helicopters.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 25 September 2014 10:43 (three years ago) Permalink

My X story...I was never really into them that much, I liked some of the songs but the albums never did much for me. I certainly didn't hate them or anything but I was always a bit confused when people would talk about how they're such a great band, etc, etc. I always thought John Doe was cool, Exene was cool, but X, I just did not get. At all.

My wife, however, was (remains) a huge fan. So in 2009 she bought us tickets to the see Knitters and I was all "eh, ok I'll go".

About three notes into the first song, I got it. Completely. All of sudden everything about them made sense. I went for being "whatever" to fan boy in an instant. It just took me forever to get to that point.

Those first three records are fucking perfect. I listen to them all the time. We saw X a few yrs ago, totally awesome live. I would go see them again in a heartbeat.

chr1sb3singer, Thursday, 25 September 2014 17:27 (three years ago) Permalink

It's Billy Zoom that turns X from a good to a great band, one of the best of the era.

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 25 September 2014 22:01 (three years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Shared by the band page on FB: Beach Party X!


Don A Henley And Get Over It (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 26 March 2015 20:34 (three years ago) Permalink

I saw Penelope S. stating somewhere that all the Decline of Western Civilization movies are gonna be released on dvd, blue-ray, etc

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 March 2015 15:08 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Shout! Factory is putting out a box with all three movies, bonus interviews and performances, commentary track from Dave Grohl, etc., etc., at the end of June.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 27 March 2015 20:59 (three years ago) Permalink

I guess Grohl comments will help sell it

curmudgeon, Saturday, 28 March 2015 19:39 (three years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Ah shit--didn't bring the following just to bum yall out, see support Billy info, with more to come on shows, but some of it's already in the shows section: http://xtheband.com/2015/07/09/x-guitarist-billy-zoom-diagnosed-with-bladder-cancer/

Posted on July 9, 2015 by x



(Los Angeles, CA – July 9, 2015) Legendary guitarist, punk legend, and all-around nice guy, Billy Zoom, has been diagnosed with cancer. Yesterday, Zoom was given the news that he has an aggressive form of bladder cancer and immediate treatment is necessary to fight the disease. The 67-year-old musician/producer/electronics wiz will begin chemo treatment next week.

In early 2010, Zoom revealed that he had been successfully treated for prostate cancer.

X and Zoom are committed to this weekend’s 4-album play shows at Orange County’s The Observatory. Joining X for these shows will be The Blasters and Mike Watt.

X will continue with their previously announced July and August mid-west and east coast tour dates as planned in support of Billy and his family. A replacement for Zoom will be announced shortly.

X and manager, Mike Rouse, have begun a fund to help Zoom with his upcoming medical costs.

Statement from X:

In the music community, we all take turns helping each other & have since the beginning. Punk rock and benefits always went hand in hand: you name the cause, and the bands and fans will be there.
Now it’s our turn to help Billy Zoom,
the wittiest, smartest, nicest, best guitar player & friend I know. I would do anything to help him get better, help take care of his family, and lessen his woes. Billy has begun chemo treatment at Cedars Sinai for Bladder cancer. He has a long road ahead of him but we are confident he’s beat cancer once and he’ll do it again!

Please keep Billy in your prayers and send some positive energy his way!
Donating a few bucks will help take away some of his financial stress and worry.
It’s the punk rock thing to do.

Exene, John, DJ, and Mike

Please donate to Support Billy Zoom’s Kick Cancer Fight by visiting:


dow, Thursday, 9 July 2015 19:11 (two years ago) Permalink

Just came here to post that. Bummer.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 10 July 2015 11:49 (two years ago) Permalink

$43,360 of $50k
Raised by 845 people in 1 day

Almost completely funded though.

how's life, Friday, 10 July 2015 13:02 (two years ago) Permalink

Blew past $50k in one day. That's a lot of love, renews my faith in people.

God I loved to watch Billy splay his legs and wail on his guitar.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 10 July 2015 21:21 (two years ago) Permalink

by x
Zoom Undergoing Chemo for Cancer Will Miss Summer Dates

Texas Guitarist – JESSE DAYTON – To Sit-In for Zoom

(Los Angeles – July 10, 2015) It was announced yesterday, Billy Zoom - the legendary guitarist for the seminal punk band X will not be joining his bandmates on their July and August dates as he seeks immediate medical treatment for bladder cancer.

Texas guitar player, Jesse Dayton (Waylon Jennings, Supersuckers) will be sitting in for the iconic guitarist temporarily.

Dates beginning on July 17th in Ridgefield, CT and continuing through August 3 in NY at City Winery will feature Dayton stepping in for Billy. Remaining festival dates in August and September are yet to be determined.

As was previously announced, X, the long-time leaders of the L.A. Punk Scene, will perform at the KCRW “Sound in Focus” Annenberg Live Series on August 8th with Dwight Yoakam. The concert is free for all ages; those interested in attending need to RSVP at KCRW.com. X have also been confirmed to perform at this year’s Hopscotch festival on September 12th in Raleigh, NC as well as September 19th at the Kaaboo Festival held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, CA.

Beginning yesterday and continuing through the weekend, X bring their 4-Album Show plays to The Observatory in Orange County with Billy in his original position, trademark Cheshire grin and all.

Formed in 1977, X quickly established themselves as one of the best bands in LA's flourishing first wave punk scene. Featuring vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake, their debut 45 was released on the seminal Dangerhouse label in 1978. While these songs were later re-recorded for their second album, the versions on Adult Books / We're Desperate reveal X's raw talent for totally sincere songwriting and stripped-down rock n' roll. This past April, the band re-issued that first single, in its original 7-inch format, as limited edition colored vinyl.

The original line-up of X remains John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, and D.J. Bonebrake. Jesse Dayton fills in for Billy Zoom from July 17 – August 3.

X Summer 2015 “How I Learned My Lesson Tour”

July 17 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT

July 18 Underground Arts Philadelphia, PA

July 19 The State Theatre Falls Church, VA

July 22 Music Box Supper Club Cleveland, OH

July 24 The Magic Bag Ferndale, MI

July 26 City Winery Chicago, IL

July 27 City Winery Chicago, IL

July 28 City Winery Chicago, IL

July 30 The Sinclair Cambridge, MA

Aug 1 City Winery New York City, NY

Aug 2 City Winery New York City, NY

Aug 3 City Winery New York City, NY

Aug 8 Annenberg Space for Photography Los Angeles, CA

(KCRW sponsored show)

Aug 28 Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI

Sep 12 Hopscotch Fest Raleigh, NC

Sep 19 KAABOO Fest Del Mar, CA

Please donate to Support “Billy Zoom’s Kick Cancer’s Butt” Fight by visiting:



dow, Friday, 10 July 2015 22:30 (two years ago) Permalink

Statement from Billy Zoom:

My family and I are overwhelmed and deeply humbled by the outpouring of money, love, and support that we’ve received over past 24 hours. Facing months of cancer treatment is tough, but not as tough as worrying about taking care of my family through it all. We still hadn’t completely recovered financially from my last bout with cancer and I really wasn’t sure, aside from lots of prayer, how I was going to manage to keep our home and family together through this. Our twins turned nine years old last week, and I’ll be missing our entire touring season this year because of my treatments.

Our most heartfelt thanks go out to those of you who have contributed to our wellbeing so that our energies may be concentrated on beating this and reassuring our children that their daddy is going to be ok.

Again, heartfelt thanks to all of you from myself and my family.

nickn, Sunday, 12 July 2015 02:52 (two years ago) Permalink

So great to see that kind of outpouring if support

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 12 July 2015 06:15 (two years ago) Permalink

We went to the Wild Gift show on Friday night and, well DUH, it was tremendous. Hard not to focus in on Billy - the electric/acoustic format of the shows these days lets him go all-out Carl Perkins/Chet Atkins in ways he can't when they're in punk onslaught configuration. Recent all-electric shows had a weird spooky apocalypse going on - angry violent crowd at House of Blues Anaheim, Exene ranting about chemtrails in Pershing Square and just how even more desperate Los Angeles is. I got bit on the arm at that show. I've never been bit at a show before ever.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 13 July 2015 09:27 (two years ago) Permalink

Wow, that's crazy(the biting that is; Exene's paranoid ranting is no longer unexpected, sadly).

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 July 2015 14:14 (two years ago) Permalink

Were you bit by Exene?

nickn, Monday, 13 July 2015 20:52 (two years ago) Permalink

No, silly it was an audience member. Somebody who plays in La Liga, no doubt.

Crawling From The Blecchage (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 13 July 2015 20:59 (two years ago) Permalink

yikes, x crowds are energetic but i never would have banked on biting esp these days

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 13 July 2015 21:10 (two years ago) Permalink

I'll be sure to wear a long sleeve shirt and pants when I see them in Mpls!

chr1sb3singer, Monday, 13 July 2015 21:12 (two years ago) Permalink

OC Register show review, quoted and linked on xtheband.com:

X Goes Back To The Beginning At The Observatory



With: The Blasters, Mike Watt and the Secondmen

Where: The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana,

When: July 9

Next: X will perform its "Wild Gift" album at 8 tonight, "Under the Big Black Sun" on Saturday, and "More Fun in the New World" on Sunday.

How much: $25

Call: 714-957-0600

Online: observatoryoc.com

By the time X took the stage at The Observatory around 10 p.m. on Thursday night, the capacity crowd was already fully aware of an announcement that was issued earlier that day that guitarist Billy Zoom has been diagnosed with bladder cancer. And when the long-time Orange County resident was spotted on the stage a few minutes before showtime checking on his guitar and equipment, there was a heartfelt group chant with his name.

Expectations for the concert were obviously high, with Zoom reportedly set to perform on this night and a trio of subsequent nights at the venue with each concert featuring one of X’s seminal albums played in its entirety. Zoom will then take a break from playing to undergo chemotherapy treatments beginning next week.

Thursday's performance was divided in two parts, with the full performance of the band’s Ray Manzarek-produced 1980 debut filling the first act and ultimately serving as the strongest part of the show. Watching the lineup of singer Exene Cervenka, bassist-singer John Doe, drummer D.J. Bonebrake and the aforementioned Zoom tear through one of punk rock's most compelling and essential albums was a thrill, with Cervenka and Doe's distinctive joint harmonies effective from the moment they were heard on the opener “Your Phone's Off the Hook, But You're Not” while a good-sized number of concertgoers participated in a mosh pit to add to the spirit.

While Zoom had to understandably sit on a stool while performing the show, his guitar playing was spot-on, including on a powerful version of The Doors’ 1967 classic “Soul Kitchen” and even more forceful version of the quartet's own “Los Angeles” a few minutes later.

The fast-paced punk rock song “The World's a Mess; It's in My Kiss” ended the first half of the night, with Cervenka acknowledging the appreciative crowd and energy of the night: “Thank you all for coming.”

The band then took an eight-minute break, and that’s when concertgoers (and the band) had to deal with challenges that appeared to affect both of the amplifiers that Zoom was using. His primary amp was suddenly very muddled with no high tones, and a secondary amp would cut out here and there, obviously hampering the power and flow of songs (even seminal tracks such as “The Hungry Wolf,” “White Girl” and “Devil Doll” during the second 50-minute half where there were several long interruptions where Zoom and his guitar tech attempted to improve things).

The highlight of that troubled set was a propulsive and spirited “The New World,” on which Cervenka and Doe again blended their soaring voices, while the band's distinctive rock attack was showcased.

The large crowd remained throughout the night, supporting Zoom and one of Southern California’s most groundbreaking bands ever without complaint.

“Orange County, thank you very much,” Cervenka said with obvious appreciation before leaving the stage.

The technical glitches that marred the 90-minute X outing were thankfully nowhere to be heard during the two openers’ sets.

The Phil Alvin-led Blasters turned in a potent 50-minute set featuring their original blend of roots music, rockabilly, punk, blues rock and more. With the amazing guitarist Keith Wyatt at his side, Alvin and company performed all their best-known tunes (“American Music,” “Marie Marie” and “Border Radio”) with fire, and outdistanced those gems with a haunting “Dark Night,” with that song finding Wyatt tapping into his inner John Fogerty for an extended solo that had the crowd cheering in appreciation.

Opening the night was legendary singer-bassist Mike Watt, who led his small outfit (dubbed the Secondmen) through a 30-minute set of genre-defying rock that might best be described as progressive-punk. The well-known leader of fIREHOSE and the Minutemen impressed those who came early with material that allowed all three of the musicians to showcase virtuoso chops. Nertz to the Stooges! Would like to hear the Secondmen.

dow, Monday, 13 July 2015 21:31 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...


Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 15 August 2015 02:06 (two years ago) Permalink

Weird -- was listening to Wild Gift while showering this morning.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 15 August 2015 02:08 (two years ago) Permalink

Any reports on the current line-up with Jesse Dayton filling in? I'm going to see them in Mpls on Saturday

chr1sb3singer, Monday, 24 August 2015 16:35 (two years ago) Permalink

I saw 'em in Chicago and they were awesome (but I still hate City Winery - weird place to see a show). Jesse Dayton is a great guitarist and has the chops big time - he's played off and on w/ Doe for a while. I get comments about my Support Billy Zoom shirt all the time whenever I wear it since the show. Hope he's doing better.

BlackIronPrison, Monday, 24 August 2015 21:30 (two years ago) Permalink

Cool, they place they are playing in Mpls, Mill City Nights, is also a terrible place to see a show

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 13:29 (two years ago) Permalink

What did you think, chr1sb3singer? I was at the Mpls show and thought they sounded great. Was quite taken aback actually -- didn't really know what to expect.

Ys Man a.k.a. Have One on G (geoffreyess), Saturday, 5 September 2015 20:13 (two years ago) Permalink

I saw them in MPLS too. Had never been to Mill City Nights, and honestly didn't hate it. The show was surprisingly uncrowded so I could get up close, and they sounded incredibly vigorous. Jesse was as good a Billy stand-in as one could hope for. I was happy!

Half as cool as Man Sized Action (Dan Peterson), Saturday, 5 September 2015 21:18 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Outstanding interview with DJ Bonebrake on The Trap Set podcast:

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 26 October 2015 07:42 (two years ago) Permalink

"What did you think, chr1sb3singer? I was at the Mpls show and thought they sounded great. Was quite taken aback actually -- didn't really know what to expect.

― Ys Man a.k.a. Have One on G (geoffreyess), Saturday, 5 September 2015 20:13 (1 month ago) Permalink"

Oh hey I didn't see this...I thought they were good, for whatever reason though I don't feel like the show really took off, at least to me. I don't think they played badly, everyone sounded great and was in fine form, just it seemed to be missing a little something.

It certainly wasn't bad show by any stretch, I have seen them in the past be unbelievably great so it is possible I'm setting the bar a little high.

I thought that Jesse Dayton did an amazing job filing in for Billy Zoom.

chr1sb3singer, Monday, 26 October 2015 13:18 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

They're starting up a leg of their ongoing 40th anniversary tour this coming week. I'm seeing them on May 9th in North Carolina. Billy Zoom is back in the band. At this point I've only seen them with Jesse Dayton, and I thought that was really good, so I'm intrigued to see the original lineup.

JRN, Saturday, 29 April 2017 04:16 (one year ago) Permalink

if it's anything like last time, it'll be worth it

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 29 April 2017 04:49 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

White Girl at #1 - OTM.

that's not my post, Tuesday, 27 June 2017 03:02 (eleven months ago) Permalink

nice - I would have cut the covers on principle, but the covers are also great so yeah. my mom loved the Leadbelly cut when I was in high school, I think I bought all the records new starting with Big Black Sun. "Blue Spark" is a great deep cut.

sleeve, Tuesday, 27 June 2017 03:07 (eleven months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

They're baaaaaaack! With Billy Zoom in the fold again. I'm going tonight.

"Celebration" encourages the listener to celebrate good times. (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 13 September 2017 20:51 (eight months ago) Permalink

The Mpls Doghouse Crew (UMS & myself) will also be there, pumped.

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 13 September 2017 21:03 (eight months ago) Permalink

It was a last minute decision, but I'm excited too!

"Celebration" encourages the listener to celebrate good times. (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 13 September 2017 21:18 (eight months ago) Permalink

A good show I bet

curmudgeon, Thursday, 14 September 2017 14:43 (eight months ago) Permalink

Venue was packed, so my proximity to the stage and the sound weren't as good when I saw them 2 years ago, but yeah they always bring the goods (even with Billy playing sitting down now.) I was telling my friend there aren't many punk bands from that era, with all original members, still able to make me that happy. (My hometown heroes The Hypstrz excepted.)

The night was made extra poignant as Husker Du's "Love is All Around" video was playing on the big screen as I entered, and I was reminiscing about the "savage young Du," only to find out about Grant's passing this morning.

"Celebration" encourages the listener to celebrate good times. (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:12 (eight months ago) Permalink

Yeah holy shit there were a ton of people there! Which is great, but it was hard to get a good spot/sound. But so they were good! God Billy is such a great guitar player, Exene & John were ragged but right as you would expect and DJ Bonebrake was great. they had some extra help on guitar & drums so DJ moved over to the marimba few times, Billy played the sax...they played "Come Back to Me" which in the wake of Grant's passing feels especially poignant.

chr1sb3singer, Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:17 (eight months ago) Permalink

xp are there any other 70s punk bands with all original members? I'm struggling to think of any. I saw Cock Sparrer last week but they've had a few rhythm guitarists go through the line-up over the years, all originals apart from that.

Colonel Poo, Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:25 (eight months ago) Permalink

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