Saturday, October 14, 2017

'X: 40 Years of Punk' exhibit opens at Grammy Museum in Los Angeles

A new Grammy Museum at L.A. Live exhibit, "X: 40 Years of Punk," debuted on Oct. 13 with a special sold out program featuring an interview and a rare rooftop performance by the influential SoCal rock band.

Moderated by Scott Goldman, the museum's executive director, the 45-minute chat covered the group's arrival during the nascent 1970s punk scene, regular gigs at The Masque, songwriting influences and methods, landing a record deal, working with producer Ray Manzarek of The Doors and the evolution of X's sound. 

One particularly memorable story revolved around how a large brown aluminum 'X' in one of the new exhibit displays was obtained: co-lead singer/bassist John Doe got it in New York City, when an Ex-Lax (chocolate laxative) company building was being torn down.

The special concert was prefaced by special plaque presentations relating to the city of Los Angeles declaring "X Day" earlier in the week. For the sharp hour-long set, X tore into such college and alt-rock radio staples as "White Girl," "Hungry Wolf," "Los Angeles" as well as fan favorites "Johnny Hit & Run Pauline," "The World's a Mess (It's in My KIss)" and cover of The Doors' "Soul Kitchen."

On a pair of more laid back numbers, guitarist Billy Zoom switched between his usual instrument and saxophone, while drummer DJ Bonebrake moved over to vibraphone. Zoom, smiling broadly, was quite cognizant of fans near the stage front and could be seen asking if they were having fun. Co-lead singer Exene acknowledged old female friends in the crowd.
Longtime X enthusiasts have plenty to marvel at when they visit the exhibit. There are handwritten lyrics and notebooks by Exene and John, original concert flyers for L.A. shows,
rare photos and artwork by Exene, clothing (Billy's frequently spray painted silver jacket, dresses, t-shirts), personal items (fan crafted badges, a typewriter taken on tour for lyric writing), original instruments and gear played by the band, X: The Unheard Music film and more.

"X: 40 Years of Punk" is on display through March 2018. The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live is at 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite A245, Los Angeles. For more info, call (213) 765-6800 or go to
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM, Sat-Sun 10:00 AM - 6:30 PM

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