Formed in Los Angeles in 1977, X became one of the most respected and influential California punk bands of their generation. Founded by bassist/vocalist John Doe and guitarist Billy Zoom, the two of them began writing and rehearsing. Doe’s girlfriend at the time, Exene Cervenka, would write poetry and eventually joined the band as co-lead vocalist. Drummer DJ Bonebreak joined the band and their classic line-up was born. X’s mixture of punk attitude, American rock ‘n’ roll roots, rockabilly, and country music was unique and set them apart from their L.A.-based contemporaries. They released their first single, “Adult Books”, in 1978 on Dangerhouse Records. After that single, the band signed with Slash Records and released their Ray Manzarek-produced debut album, Los Angeles, in 1980. The album was a critical success and while it wasn’t a huge commercial success, it introduced the band to a larger audience outside of Southern California. Their next three albums – Wild Gift (1981), Under the Big Black Sun (1982), and More Fun in the New World (1983) – were also produced by Manzarek and continued to build on their reputation as one of the most exciting bands of their generation. Their fifth album, Ain’t Love Grand (1985), was their first for Elektra Records and included alternative radio hit “Burning House of Love”. Zoom quit the band after the release of the album and was originally replaced by The Blasters’ Dave Alvin. Since Alvin couldn’t commit himself to the band at the time, Lone Justice’s Tony Gilkyson stepped in as their official guitarist. The band’s next album was 1987’s See How We Are, which featured the Alvin-penned “4th of July”, which has gone on to become a classic Americana anthem. The band’s members then pursued solo careers before reconvening as X and releasing the album Hey Zeus! in 1993. The band ceased to exist as a recording unit but would occasionally reunite for live shows in between separate solo projects. In 2020, the four original members of X – Doe, Cervenka, Bonebreak, and Zoom – surprised their fans by releasing the brand new studio release Alphabetland.

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