X

Three decades after the inception of X, one thing is clear: X was not only one of the most influential bands to crash out of the punk movement of the late ‘70s, but the band’s music continues to be sonically groundbreaking today. Songs written during the group’s inception are as relevant and inventive today as they were in 1977.

The fact is, no one sounds like X and no one ever will.
It’s not surprising when you consider the group’s unique beginnings, which can only be attributed to fate. On the same day with nearly the exact same wording, two want-ads appear in a local music rag. One was sent in by a guitarist named Billy Zoom, the other by bassist who called himself John Doe.
Zoom, a rockabilly rebel who’d performed with Gene Vincent, had read a negative review of a band called the Ramones. It said they only played three chords and they played ‘em too fast. So naturally, he went to see them. The show was at the Golden West Ballroom in the L.A. suburb of Norwalk in early ’77, and as soon as the Ramones started to perform, Zoom realized that, musically, he’d found exactly what he wanted to do with his life.
Doe, who was originally from the Baltimore area, was already down with the East Coast CBGB’s scene and by the time the two got in the same room together after responding to each other’s ads, it seemed it was meant to be. They performed a few shows with various drummers before a poet with no ambition of being a singer would enter the picture.
Doe found her in Venice Beach, at a poetry reading. He liked her poems so much he offered to perform them in his band. The poet, Exene Cervenka, had just moved to town from Florida and she told him, no offense, but if anyone was gonna perform her poems, it would be her, and she soon ended up in the band. Zoom was skeptical about someone’s girlfriend being in the band. After they did their first show with Exene, he didn’t know exactly what it was she had, but he knew it was magic.
After a succession of drummers, Doe was at the underground punk club the Masque in Hollywood one night, checking out a band called the Eyes, which featured a pre-Go-Go’s bass player named Charlotte Caffey. He called Zoom immediately and said he’d found their drummer. Doe told him he played with a parade snare and hit it hard as a hammer. Zoom told him to promise him anything. His name was D.J. Bonebrake and he quickly signed on. The band was now complete, and X would soon emerge from the young punk scene as one of its most successful offspring.
The band’s early albums, Los Angeles (1980), produced by Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Wild Gift (1981), and Under the Big Black Sun (1982) explored dark love and an even darker L.A. with the unflinching eye of a Raymond Chandler novel. Doe and Cervenka would marry and later divorce, but they’d always remain soulmates. As they released each ensuing album, More Fun in theNew World(1983) and Ain’t Love Grand (1985), the band continued to grow sonically and politically, fearlessly mixing genres without ever losing its center. As each member went on to explore diverse careers—careers that included acting, art, writing, producing and multiple side projects.”

THE BLASTERS

The all-American roots music band, the Blasters were principally brothers Dave and Phil Alvin whose first-hand experience with blues masters shaped their sound and turned them both into contemporary singer/songwriters whose interest in roots rock has never waned.

The brothers, along with Bill Bateman on drums and John Bazz on bass, grew up in Downey California, in the shadow of Disneyland. Their musical education involved hanging out with musicians like Lee Allen, Marcus Johnson, and T-Bone Walker, all of whom tipped the band to the ways of blues and R&B. Ironically, by the time they were ready to work in Los Angeles clubs, the punk rock explosion was in full swing, and they found an audience for their rough-and-ready sound among the punks, particularly fans of X with whom they frequently shared the bill. American Music (1980) was a collection of roots covers and like-minded originals. Followed by The Blasters (1981, Slash), the band had added veteran pianist Gene Taylor, baritone saxophonist Steve Berlin and mentor Allen on tenor sax. Amazingly, the album reached number 36 on the charts. In 1982, they recorded the live EP, Over There for Slash, followed by 1983's Non-Fiction. Less focused on rockabilly revivalism, Dave Alvin had become the band's chief cook and songwriter. Berlin had since left the fold to join Los Lobos. Hard Line followed in 1985. The band called it a day after that, though several years later Phil Alvin reformed the group as a live act without Dave. The current version of the Blasters is a phenomenal live band, featuring all original members except for Dave.

$30 advance - $35 day of show

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Crescent Ballroom

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X with THE BLASTERS

Friday, November 29 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Crescent Ballroom

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