Friday, April 04, 2008

Coming soon to The Aorta Bar (Detroit's main vein)...

Photo by Michael Hyatt.

I'm going to see the band X on my birthday. I know they're old, but so am I. And they're not as old as Bob Dylan (who I'd still pay to see).

Here's a great live version of my favorite X song, followed by the studio version (which somebody recently asked me to re-post).

X – The Have Nots (Live) (buy album).

X - The Have Nots (buy album).

Here's another great X song. This one, penned by The Blaster's Dave Alvin, has a real Americana feel:

X - 4th Of July (buy album).

Check out a few more versions of this tune over at Boogie Woogie Flu.

John Doe went on to record a country-ish solo album in 1990 called Meet John Doe:

John Doe - Knockin' Around (buy album).

Any other X fans out there? What's your favorite X song?


LD said...

Yo Paul, here's one vote for I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts.

Robby said...

A favorite? Impossible. I could maybe do a top 20, if you squeezed me real hard.

But then, I think X is not just one of the finest punk bands ever, I think they're one of the finest dozen or so rock bands ever.

RPM said...

Hey Paul,

Love what you're doing with the site. X is old like the Mississippi River is old and seeing them on your birthday sounds like a great time. I love these guys, so I'm hardly objective, but I think X albums 1-4 are as good a run as the first four from the Velvet Underground, Creedence Clearwater, Talking Heads, or any other American band one could name. I'll go with More Fun in the New World as favorite album and Year 1 as favorite song.

blasters said...

X should be in the rock n roll hall of fame.
a very important band in my life
along with the blasters, who should be in the rock n roll hall of fame!!

there are so many great X songs
how 'bout "i must not think bad thoughts"
"adult books" shhhh, slap on "los angeles"

Ramone666 said...

My fave is Johnny Hit And Run Paulene probably. The first 2 albums are classics. Great band.

Anonymous said...

You hit my favorite with "the have nots" but I have a lot of favorites. So many good songs. I would add "Poor Little Girl" to my own top 5.

Anonymous said...

My favorite - has to be the entire album "Live at the Whiskey Agogo" What an incredible performance. Especially the song "around my heart"

Karate Boogaloo said...

I've seen them twice in the last year & a half, and they're as great as ever. They'll be here in NYC in May and I plan on seeing them again. Here's a couple of links that might interest you:

1. My blog with pix of them from SxSW:
2. A photographer I work with, with pix he took of them in the very early 80s:

p.s. To give credit where credit is due, the photographer who took the photo you use at the top of the post is named Michael Hyatt. You can see his work at

wendyo said...

I just saw X down at SXSW in Austin Texas last month...they put on an amazing show. The last time I saw them was in 1982.

It was fantastic! I'm sure they will be even better by the time you see them, as this was one of the first shows of the reunion tour.

Billy Zoom, in particular, blew my mind with his effortless playing. He had a giant smile plastered on his face the whole time, and oddly enough, it reminded me of the guy on the TV commercials, "Bob," for the "male enhancement" pills. Pretty funny.

I've caught John Doe several times in his solo incarnation, and his last album "A Year in the Wilderness" is TOTALLY worth picking up. It's fantastic. Check out the track "Golden State" up on's a duet he does with Kathleen Edwards. Great stuff.

Paul said...

Everyone - Thanks for all the comments.

Karate - Thanks for the links and the proper photo attribution (which I've since added).

Karate and Wendyo - Thanks for the review of the recent shows. I'm fired up. It sounds great.

Davesap - Let's get those tix before they sell out!

Al said...

Got my tickets in hand already. Favorite X song? The World's A Mess; It's In My Kiss. Saw them in Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago the last time they came through the area. Had a nice chat with John Doe in Cleveland at the Beachland Ballroom a few years back. Any else have a copy of John's version of "I Will Always Love You"?

Juan Duque said...

It's difficult to pinpoint THE song. My favorite album though is "Under the Big Black Sun" though. "L.A" was my very first Punk Rock album and X mean a whole lot to me. One of my (few) regrets in life is not having gotten to see them in my 13 year "stint" in the U.S. Oh well. Cause I don't think they'll be doing a South American tour anytime soon!! Great blog! Check out mine if you get the chance:

Lots of good music and dead links!! (but i do take reup requests so feel free). Take care,


Mr. Myers said...

I came to know X through their alt country alter ego the Knitter- Poor Little Critter in the Road. I saw them perform as the Knitters promoting the fairly recent second album, The Modern Sounds of the Knitters. The show was great. So... instead of my favorite X songs such as Hungry Wolf and Poor Girl I will give you my favorite Knitters song. tough but probably- Cryin' but my Tears are Far Away

Nazz Nomad said...

these days it's Year One.
I can't wait for the NYC show.
thanks for these...

my blog has a live x show from my fathers place from the early 80's ... just search under x.

thanks again

C said...


I can never decide on what my favorite song it-- I'm a fan of "Poor Girl" and pretty much every other song-- it's too hard to decide. And "Knockin' Around" is my favorite song off of Meet John Doe.

We just posted "Unclogged" at saynoiseannoys,as well as "Wild Gift" back in March:

frankenslade said...

"We're Desparate" has long been my favorite, although in recent years "White Girl" has gained ground. That song's as cool as anything the Brian Jones-era Stones ever put out (my favorite era Stones).

"The Have Nots" is right up there, biting at the heels of "White Girl". For years that was in the middle of the pack for me on the great Under the Big Black Sun album, but one day a friend told me to concentrate on how Billy Zoom's guitar builds as the song progresses. Since that day I've heard the subtle magic.

frankenslade said...

Oh, and seeing X live in a dance studio on a makeshift, 10-inch high stage, right after Under the Big Black Sun came out, is still the greatest show I've ever seen. Enjoy!

Paul said...


White Girl is a GREAT song. So is We're Desperate. Judging from the number of comments on this post, I think X is due for some kind of re-evaluation/critical upgrade in status.

davesap said...

I'm ready to get the tix, Paul. Let's do it! Favorites would have to be Los Angeles, World's a Mess, and Delta 88 (a demo that is on the Los Angeles re-release). OH, and I can't forget Breathless, because I had the good fortune of seeing that live.

Kerry said...

I haven't seen them since October, 1983...would very much like to see them again, but they don't get to my neck of the woods too often (Omaha, NE). Hard to pick favorites, but "Blue Spark" stands out in my mind. Also like "The Have Nots." Okay, most everything on "Under the Big Black Sun" is my favorite...