Formed in Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1977, X originally comprised Exene Cervenka (b. Christine Cervenka, 1 February 1956, Chicago, Illinois, USA; vocals), Billy Zoom (b. Tyson Kindell, Savannah, Illinois, USA; guitar), John Doe (b. John Nommensen Duchac, 25 February 1954, Decatur, Illinois, USA; bass) and Mick Basher (drums), although the last-named was quickly replaced by D.J. (Don) Bonebrake (b. North Hollywood, California, USA). The quartet made its debut with "Adult Books"/"We're Desperate" (1978), and achieved a considerable live reputation for their imaginative blend of punk, rockabilly and blues. Major labels were initially wary of the band, but Slash, a leading independent, signed them in 1979. Former Doors organist Ray Manzarek produced Los Angeles and Wild Gift, the latter of which established X as a major talent. Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times voted it Album Of The Year and such acclaim inspired a major label recording contract with Elektra Records. Under The Big Black Sun was another fine selection, although reception for More Fun In The New World was more muted, with several commentators deeming it "over-commercial" (Manzarek produced both albums).
In the meantime, X members were pursuing outside projects. Adulterers Anonymous, a poetry collection by Cervenka and Lydia Lunch, was published in 1982, while the singer joined Doe, Bonebrake, Dave Alvin (the Blasters), upright bass player Jonny Ray Bartel and accordionist Martin Lund in a part-time country outfit, the Knitters, releasing Poor Little Critter On The Road on the Slash label in 1985. Alvin replaced Billy Zoom following the release of Ain't Love Grand and X was subsequently augmented by guitarist Tony Gilkyson. However, Alvin left for a solo career on the completion of See How We Are. Despite the release of Live At The Whiskey A Go-Go On The Fabulous Sunset Strip, X were clearly losing momentum and the band was dissolved.
Doe and Cervenka continued recording as solo acts, with the latter also releasing spoken-word albums. They reunited with Bonebrake and Gilkyson in 1993 with a new recording contract for Hey Zeus!, although their unplugged album two years later was a more worthwhile comeback. Zoom rejoined the band for a series of concerts in 1998, and the original quartet recorded a cover version of the Doors' "The Crystal Ship" for The X-Files soundtrack.
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X and Everything After | Reviewer: Andrew Wojcik | 6/28/2007
Its not just X ,its all that evolved. The coolest hillbilly band ,The Knitters.Exene solo .John Doe solo is some of the best music to ever go in my ears.Never to disappoint you. A Year in the Wilderness should be cd of the Year, Johns 2007 release.Oh he acts too. D.J. Bonebreak - drum God,Dave Alvin, Billy Zoom, Tony Gilkyson etc.This grand circle of friends is the recipe of the Greatest Band Ever, X Hey but don't listen to me.Go see um .or pick up something X-exy .Then you'll see what I'm talking about.Andrew Wojcik ( Hockessin Delaware)
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what do you mean you never.....? | Reviewer: AQlbert de Lorge | 4/26/2005
You haven't listened to X?????? A very important band "...the last american band to get played on the radio..." Los Angeles, Blue Spark, Johhny Hit and Run Pauline, More Fun in the New World- great songs and albums. X was a very unique band with a male and female vocalist and lyrical imagery reminiscent of a Raymond Chandler novel. Dark, gritty, cynical yet clinging to hope for a change in awareness of the minds of it's listeners and beyond. X never achieved the acclaim that its fans and music critics felt they should have but were destinied to become legends in the underground music scene and maybe that's okay too. One of the best american bands to come out of the punk genre at least as far as musical maturity and the last underground band before it all became radio friendly and safe.
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