By Eleni P. Austin
L.A.’s preeminent Punk band, X, is set to return to Pappy & Harriet’s on Saturday, April 8th. As much as The Beach Boys and The Doors defined the Los Angeles music scene in the 1960s, as much as the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac epitomized the laid-back L.A. sound of the 1970s, X led the Punk Rock revolution that enveloped the smoggy metropolis at the dawn of 1980s. The four-piece came together when John Doe relocated from Baltimore and met Exene, a fledgling poet from Florida. The pair connected guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, Billy Zoom and Ex-Eyes drummer (and native Angeleno) DJ Bonebrake.
X’s first four albums, Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under The Big Black Sun and More Fun In The New World, were released between 1980 and 1983. All deftly produced by ex-Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek. Receiving his imprimatur, it felt as though he was passing the L.A. music torch to the next generation. The records were studded with instant classics like “Your Phone’s Off The Hook, But You’re Not,” “the World’s A Mess, It’s In My Kiss,” “The Once Over Twice, Adult Books,” “Hungry Wolf,” “The Have-Nots” “Make The Music Go Bang,” and “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts.” X became the first Punk band to play The Greek Theatre.
All told, the band has released seven studio albums, three live sets and two compilations. Despite some bumps in the road and occasional hiatuses that allowed each band member to pursue solo projects, X has been touring pretty consistently since the turn of the 21st century. These days, their audience is a healthy mix of original fans and millennials. Most X aficionados had been content to hear the hits and the deep cuts at shows. But in 2020, the band surprised and delighted their passionate fanbase by recording Alphabetland. 40 years after debut, and 17 years after their last official long-player, the band delivered an album that had fans falling in love with X all over again. Word is, the band has some new music in the pipeline. In the meantime, their West Coast swing includes April 6 at The Music Box in San Diego April 7 at The Glass House in Pomona April 8 at Pappy’s and April 11 and 12 at The Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles. (X with Special Guest James Intveld at Pappy & Harriet’s Saturday, April 8, 2023. Doors open at 5:00pm/Show at 7pm. 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown, CA)