Skip to comments.Keeping up with Exene Cervenka - The songwriter, artist and X frontwoman is back in L.A.
Posted on 10/07/2009 10:36:08 AM PDT by a fool in paradise
If people were paintings, Exene Cervenka might be a Picasso line drawing. In conversation, as in her considerable body of work, a founding member of X expresses herself concisely, every thought contributing to a larger picture that could come only from her.
And like the Spanish artist, Cervenka has transitioned successfully through a variety of career phases, starting with her stint in X, the band that perhaps best embodied the character of L.A.'s punk subculture of the early '80s. She moved on to the rootsy folk-country side project the Knitters with other members of X and the Blasters, then launched a solo career that included spoken-word performances of her own writings.
...A recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis has done little to slow her creative output, but it is one factor that has figured into her return to Southern California after four years spent living in rural Missouri...
"It's fantastic," she said of life in the land of Mark Twain. "It was something I wanted to do my whole life: move to the middle of nowhere and live in the country..."
"I've always believed this as an artist, that the best way to create is in a vacuum," she said.
Not that she considers the Midwest a vacuum, but by exiting a hive of activity like Los Angeles, she felt better able to act from within, rather than react to what was going on around her.
"That time in Missouri for me was like the punk days again in a weird way, even though there wasn't a scene. I was isolated, and I think your art is more pure, and I think that's true for visual art and music when you create that way.
"I think that's why the punk scene was so incredibly strong, because it was ignored," she said...
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
I find it interesting that Ray Manzarek worked with X.
Short, fat, cankles, my grandmother's old dress, broken-down -- but belting out some wild-ass punk rock.
Even before I saw the photo I was reminded of Rush’s remark regarding what Klaus Nome looked like. He said “whatever you’re thibking, you’re right”.
In my younger days in LA, I saw them play in dives, lofts, clubs and community centers all over LA. My ex and I used to dance to them a lot.
John Doe has been in a lot of movies too.
And Billy Zoom came from the first rockabilly revival (of the 1970s).
But I find Exene looking a lot like Helen Thomas these days. And watching Helen Thomas sing "Devil Doll" is something that chills my blood.
She’s got a ways to go to look like Helen Thomas and she isn’t as bitter as Helen.
Billy has a tribute guitar as well.
Today, Exene looks pretty scary but what I found out is that she has admitted to be suffering from MS. Very sad.
What a truly unique and excellent band X was.
I was very lucky to be living in So Cal during those days.
Billy Zoom is supposedly into God now, and augments his income by restoring old vacuum tube amps (working out of his house).
Trivia: She was once married to Viggo Mortensen, the actor, and has a kid by him. Oh, and they're all flaming libs. But I still love them!
More trivia: Billy Zoom is competent on 8 musical instruments, including sax.