X's Exene Cervenka: Beyond X-Mas

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Ali Smith
Today's Weekly features an interview with X singer-songwriter Exene Cervenka in advance of Friday night's KROQ Presents X-Mas With X at the Anaheim House of Blues, where a 25th anniversary screening of W.T. Morgan's excellent "rockumentary" X: The Unheard Music will be followed by a live 30th anniversary performance of X's debut album for Slash, Los Angeles. Sadly, space restrictions prevented printing everything Cervenka had to say, so here's the rest . . . presented magically online!

OC Weekly (Matt Coker): When was the last time you listened to Los Angeles?
Exene Cervenka: Hmmm ... I never have to worry about sitting down and listening to an X song because we are always playing them, or I'll usually be in somebody's car and, you know, "Blue Spark" will be playing. Porterhouse Records just did a bunch; they reissued the X records. I listened to them, and they did a really great job. They look exactly like the original X albums. They worked with us closely. Yeah, they are on vinyl now.

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I remember the first time I saw the Los Angeles album cover. It scared me.
Someone got in a confrontation over that, thinking we advocated the Klan. We didn't, and we don't. I can understand it was provocative and ironic at same time, literally.

Yeah, a former colleague at OC Weekly [Rich Kane] once wrote about white supremacists latching onto the song "Los Angeles."
When it comes to extremists, irony is not something they do.

Are you usually on the road during Christmas or other holidays?
Always. Especially Thanksgiving, all the time.

Do any specific holiday memories from the road come to mind?
You know, I don't really remember. I know we were in Philadelphia one year, when Tony [Gilkyson] was in X, and we had dinner at a restaurant that was really nice. I try to be home as much as I can, but we tend to work when we can get work, New Year's, Fourth of July.

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LA gunman, David Crosby
A radio station in LA is playing an ad that names all these country-rock and laid-back singers-songwriters who are associated with the so-called "LA sound" from the 1970s and how none of them were from LA originally, except David Crosby [born in LA] and Jackson Browne [born in Germany but raised in Highland Park and Fullerton]. X is associated with the LA punk sound, but you guys also weren't from here originally, and I was wondering if . . .
D.J. was born and raised in Southern California. I came when I was 20. I lived off and on in Idaho for three years. I've lived [a total, off-and-on of] 34 years in California, so I say I'm from California. John's been here since he was 23, Billy since his 20s, most of our lives. ... Also, you know, growing up when I grew up, anything that wasn't city was rural.  Rural America was all the same, so if you grew up in rural California it was different culturally than in the city. You had the same three TV stations. Kids were kids then.

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