Tape Chronicles – One – X – Whiskey A Go Go
Number one was X Live at the Whiskey. The album was recorded over a three day period in December of 1987. I was there for one of those gigs. At the time I lived in Santa Monica and worked in Santa Monica. X was my favorite band at the time and favorites of my good friends Eric Blanco and Rebecca Perkins. The news about the show came the same day, and so I left work early to head down to the Whiskey to get tickets. I’m not sure anymore when I arrived but as I was waiting for the door to open to buy the tickets, I could hear X doing a sound check. They were playing “around my heart” ‘one of my favorites. It was kind of cool to be kicking in a line with other X files while hearing them playing through the old plaster of the Whiskey. I got six tickets and headed back to work. My future wife Verdell, myself, Eric, Rebecca, Rick Rabuck, and Jeri went to the show.
At that time Tony Gilkyson was playing guitar instead of Billy Zoom or Dave Alvin. The show was great and included all of the primal music they had created during their greatest musical run from the early 80’s to the late 80’s. For years X was voted the best rock band in Los Angeles but they never managed to hit it commercially.
They still play in Los Angeles or Ventura once in a while. I guess whenever they need some money, they get the group together and bang out a few shows. I still try to catch those shows. Billy Zoom is back, still standing in one place, doing his thing. Bonebrake is still pounding away on the drums. Exene still combines with John Doe for one of the more interesting vocal combinations of any band at any time. And John Doe. Man, I love John Doe.
The early label for X was punk but I prefer the “psychobilly” label. I never went hardcore into the punk world like Black Flag but X for whatever reason resonated with me.
The tape kicks off with the seminal Los Angeles. X was making their mark when Reagan was doing his thing. Los Angeles wasn’t a pretty city in early 80’s so it was easy to see where the Los Angeles punk rose up from.
Listening to this again, my favorites are Los Angeles, Around my Heart, The New World, Burning House of Love, The once over twice, Hungry Wolf, Riding with Mary, and White Girl.
X also had a country side and would perform as an alt-country band called the Knitters. My wife liked the Knitters more than she liked X and they performed several songs from their Knitter albums.
The show ended with Hit and Run Pauline. Classic
If you have never heard the song, Los Angeles, check it out.
The quality here sucks but it was recorded by a fan at the show