Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Alive & Kicking - The Band X By Christine Albrecht

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Lately, Exene Cervenka's ex husband (actor Viggo Mortensen) seems to be getting more press than she, even though she is still prolific in her song and poetry writing.

Exene was the singer for the L.A. punk band, X, along with bandmates John Doe (Exene's first husband and bassist/singer) DJ Bonebrake (drums) and Billy Zoom (guitarist). X ruled L.A.'s punk scene and was admired by other bands struggling for recognition.

Unfortunately, X never got the accolades that less ambitious bands were later garnered.

X was formed in 1977 and worked steadily until 1988. Their first four albums were produced by Ray Manzarek and were musically edgy, and lyrically insightful. Billy Zoom left the group in 1986 for a disappointing solo attempt, and Dave Alvin from the Blasters was recruited (followed by Tony Gilkyson). They took a five year break and then returned with the album "Hey Zeus" in 1993. They officially disbanded in 1996, although they will sporadically perform (with Billy Zoom in tow).

Exene (br Feb. 1, 1956) has released two solo albums, as well as spoken word recordings and books. (One book collaboration was with Lydia Lunch) Exene's other major "production" is a son Henry (from her union with Viggo) who was born in 1988.

In 1985, Exene, John, Dave and Dj released an country punk album called "Poor Little Critter on the Road" under the name The Knitters. A tribute to this album was made with the 1999 release of "Poor Little Knitter by the Road" proving their musical importance amongst other recording artists.

Exene and Bonebrake also performed in a band called Auntie Christ, whilst John Doe moved on to solo performances and part time acting. Exene is now performing with a group called Original Sinners, self described as "big beat punk". Original Sinners, and John Doe, are touring well into 2005 which aptly entitles them to the Alive & Kicking designation.

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