Punk rock rose from the twin pillars of New York and London in 1976, with last year marking its 40th anniversary. However it was in 1977 that punk was truly flourishing with bands like The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Clash, and The Damned leading the movement that was impacting music, art, and culture in the UK and the east coast of the US. It was also in 1977 that punk was growing on the West Coast of the US. Formed in Los Angeles in 1977, X, consisting of John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake, would become a seminal band in the first wave of American punk and a standard bearer for the west coast scene. Having been forged in the fire of punk, X continued to tour and release influential albums through the 80s before retiring in the early 90s. The downtime proved temporary and X reunited in the early 2000s, touring sporadically ever since.
This year sees X back out on the road celebrating their 40th Anniversary. While remaining an active and influential band for 40 years would be reason alone to celebrate, X have the added good fortune of continuing to tour with founding member and guitarist Billy Zoom, who returned to touring with the band last year after overcoming prostate and bladder cancer. For this year’s 40th anniversary tour, X have also added a fifth member, Craig Packham. Packham will be playing guitar and drums, freeing up Zoom and Bonebrake to play saxophone and vibraphone on a few songs, including “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts,” a band and fan favorite that only recently received its live debut. Exene Cervenka has said that adding Packham has allowed the band to play songs with more dimension and depth.
The tour recently rolled into Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro NC, and Concert Addicts captured the celebration. After 40 years, with a strong legacy and concentrated die-hard fanbase, X remain an active and vital band. If the show at Cat’s Cradle is any indication, X are like a fine wine and only seem to get better with age.
Check out the photos below and grab a ticket to catch X on their 40th Anniversary tour!
Photos of X + Skating Polly @ Cats Cradle – May 9th 2017