They were a collective of cerebral punks with a romantic, reverential, and most visceral disposition for American roots music who could actually sing and play at a time when instrumental prowess and homage were not in vogue.
Though this groundbreaking quartet may not have achieved their due recognition and commercial successes of The Clash and Patti Smith Group, among others of their generation, Los Angeles’ X were equally influential. And their entire canon sounds as fresh and exhilarating today as it did when they burst upon the scene with an incendiary album named for their chosen city – as produced by Ray Manzarek of The Doors.
Aside from his remarkable collaborative achievements as a songwriter and vocalist with his partner Exene Cervenka, band founder John Nommensen Duchac, aka John Doe, was a fiery bassist whose lines quoted model motifs as found on definitive recordings by Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash. In the process, John Doe and X made it cool for a new generation to celebrate the past – as expressed in blues, country, rockabilly, and folk – while pushing forward.
After the band called it day in 1993 -though they reunite on occasion for live performances – Doe forged an impressive career as a solo recording artist and film actor.