Musical Memories: More Fun in the New World

Honest to goodness, the bars weren’t open this morning
They must of been votin’ for President or something

I love this album. I loved X before I saw them live, listening to White Girl and Los Angeles on KROQ while in high school. The harmonies in fifth, the sad resigned loud-ass music, the barre chords. What more could an O.C. punk want? They were L.A., and chaos, and soul, and everything I didn’t have at Newport Harbor High School.

I went off to UCLA and promptly saw X at my own college, in Ackerman Grand Ballroom. They opened with “This was supposed to be the new world” at 1500 dB and loads of feedback. Exene was wearing a cowboy hat covered with spangles. I wanted to marry her and John Doe simultaneously.

From age 18 to 20 I listened to the first four X albums on repeat. Later on the peak of my music journalism career was interviewing them for Creem. Twenty years later miss_geek and I went to see them and they hadn’t lost it.

Not sure why. Maybe it’s because they were a stealth country blues band disguised as punk, or maybe they just were tough enough not to die or get lame from the lifestyle.

X never made it outside L.A. I remember John Doe saying that they shared that with Oingo Boingo: bands that were loved in L.A. and a few other cities and never got national success. And the weird thing, too: their lyrics look awful without the music, but with the music they’re wonderful.

I remember that my dormitory floor at UCLA my freshman year was a musical fondue. My notable success was getting about ten people, including the diehard Springsteen fan and the guy who only liked ska, to become X fans. I bet they still are.

There’s no nostalgia here. It’s just good god-damned music, okay? It could have been made yesterday, or might be made tomorrow. They just had it. Someone has it now.

11 thoughts on “Musical Memories: More Fun in the New World

  1. You wrote for Creem? I *knew* you wrote rock somewhere. X is timeless, for those that aren’t aware of them, I couldn’t care less. They’re just as huge as Bob Dylan – I bet thirty years from now they’ll have fan base that would bring us to tears nowadays.

      1. I’ll never forget the first time I heard X, it was the summer of 1978. It was 2 ayam, a full moon – I was cruising the beach with a friend all fucked up on mushrooms. Though I was sober, it was a magic moment where the music opened up a whole new universe.
        I’ve always meant to ask if you ever wanted to do some guest music blogging, there’s not too many people that have seen most all the classic West Coast Punk bands like you have. Here’s some pics I recently came across:

      1. Re: all of new york is a towaway zone
        I was hoping you’d enjoy it–I thought of you immediately. Such a bizarre experience of great, timeless, still-fresh music (mostly) and hilariously ridiculous Shadoe Stevens-voiceover commercials for “Van Halen, live at the Sports Arena!” I still haven’t managed to download all of it yet, but by God I’m gonna.

  2. I have seen them twice. Once after accidently winning tickets to the More Fun in the New World show when I accidently drunk dialed KROQ (I think I have told you that story), and the 2nd time at Mouse of Blues with you.
    Coincidently, I was in a bar for my friend Adam’s birthday last weekend and they were playing X, DKs and Oingo Boingo type music. Was really cool to hear all that in NYC.

  3. I remember buying this record at Peer Records when it came out; I encountered this punk girl I knew from school as I did so who asked me if I was into punk now.
    Even then, I listened to whatever.
    X are one of my 4 or 5 ‘see every time they play’ bands. Excene has gotten sober in the last year or so, and the shows have just gotten better.

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