What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

West Coast Punk - X

In my humble opinion, X was the best band to come out of the early West Coast Punk Scene.  

Their sound was loud and aggressive like the other punk bands at the time, but a few things set them apart.  Their guitarist came from Rockabilly as his previous gig was in Gene Vincent's band.  Their drummer was capable of complex poly-rhythms as opposed to the basic 1-2-3-4 of other punk drummers.  Bassist and vocalist John Doe had a love of country.  Singer Exene came into the fold from a poetry workshop.

Lyrically, they dealt with themes more akin to film noir and Raymond Chandler than snotty punks.  Dark tales of Los Angeles at night captured the mood of the city far beyond the sunshine.

I saw them many times in the early years.  At the Whisky in Hollywood, the Hong Kong Cafe in Chinatown, various free shows on local college campuses.

After seeing them a few times, it just clicked for me.  I couldn't say whether it was them or me.  Did they suddenly get better as a band or did I get it for the first time?

And their career had legs.  They continued to put out great work for many years.  They still play.  I saw them last year with all four original members.  It was still fresh and exciting.

X - Adult Books b/w We're Desperate  (Dangerhouse 1978)

Their first single.  Typical Dangerhouse packaging with a folded piece of paper in a plastic bag.

And besides, early on they did one of the best Doors covers ever.