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X’s John Doe and Exene Cervenka at the Roxy (December 2016)


All the punks must have their museum exhibit, after ‘Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of punk’, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles will host another celebration of a legendary punk band: ‘X: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles’ will open on Friday June 30th on the Museum’s fourth floor.

I have seen X a few times live, and saw them last December, during one of their 4 nights celebrating their 40th anniversary at the Roxy. They sounded as fresh as ever, and pure joy was pearling on John Doe’s face all-set long as they were playing songs from their 80’s four first albums. Meanwhile a sort of danger mixed with euphoria took over the room, and yes, it got quite rowdy while John and Exene’s enduring signature harmonies, Billy Zoom’s rockabilly guitar and DJ Bonebrake’s pounding drums filled the Roxy.

Looking at them, it’s hard to believe that X was formed in 1977! they soon become legendary leaders of a punk generation, after their debut ’45’ was released on the seminal Dangerhouse label in 1978, followed by seven studio albums released from 1980-1993. Over the years, X released several critically acclaimed albums and performed on top television shows such as ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’ and Dick Clark’s ‘American Bandstand’, while Rolling Stone ranked their albums ‘Los Angeles’ and ‘Wild Gift’ among the top 500 greatest albums of all time.

But after such accomplishment, they still can’t believe they are in a museum. ‘An X exhibit in a museum? Unbelievable! We are honored, dumbstruck and so grateful that all four original members are here to celebrate and share our history and 40th anniversary,’ declared Exene, Billy, DJ, and John in a presse release. ‘It’s a very long way from a basement on Hollywood Blvd (The Masque) to the GRAMMY Museum, but we feel that we bring with us all the punks from then and now. We are just the representatives for what has gone before and what is still to come in the City of Angels.’

The exhibit will feature original instruments and gear played by the band, handwritten lyrics and notebooks by Exene Cervenka and John Doe, clothing and other personal items, original concert flyers for L.A. shows, rare photographs and artwork by Exene, ‘X: The Unheard Music’ film, among many other items.

‘We are thrilled to be hosting the official 40th anniversary exhibit for one of Los Angeles’ most influential punk rock acts,’ declared GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Scott Goldman. ‘While most will think of New York when they think of the punk movement, the genre was also developing an impact on the West Coast, of which X played an integral role in developing, and we are so excited to tell that story.’

‘This exhibit will place a much-deserved spotlight on the history of punk music in Los Angeles and one of the bands who played a vital role on the genre’s impact on Southern California,’ added GRAMMY Museum Curator Nwaka Onwusa. ‘Visitors will get a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the development of X’s career and how, after 40 years, they remain one of the few bands to continue to tour with all four original members.’

The exhibit will open on June 30th and will run through February 25th 2018. Meanwhile, the unstoppable X will continue to tour for their 40th anniversary all year long – they recently played at the Palladium with Dwight Yoakam – as they have dates from May to December 2017. For more information, visit

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