One of America's most acclaimed punk bands, X was part of the first-wave pack to emerge on the L.A. club scene in 1977. The visually distinctive act was aided early on by former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who produced the '80 debut LP "Los Angeles" and follow-up "Wild Gift." Powered by the atypical harmonies of singers John Doe and Exene Cervenka, the quartet (that includes guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer DJ Bonebrake) brought punk's raging tempos together with rockabilly and roots influences.
"It was the Elk's Lodge in 1979 in L.A., and we were headlining. The Go-Go's were on before us, and The Alley Cats -- might have been The Plugz. ... While The Go-Go's were playing, somebody called the cops, and about 200 cops came to the site and broke the concert up.
"I was sitting out in the lobby. Nothing was going on, and I was bored. Then suddenly the cops show up and boot us out. There were cops outside in formation. There were helicopters. There were snipers. It was like, 'What was going on?' The Go-Go's were playing.
"They pushed everyone down the street. We were crying, 'Foul. Why are you doing this?'
"There were no riots. But some of the kids smashed a police car. Someone I knew got thrown in jail. I actually loaned her money to bail her out. It was in the news, these rioting punks. So a lot of the punk rockers went on AM radio and defended us.
"What I heard is that a couple of the kids went into a wedding ceremony or wedding party, and they disrupted it somewhat. So I guess that's a reason to call the police, but maybe not 200 police. That was the rumor. I never got to the bottom of it. I should try to investigate what really happened. ... I wasn't in a position to do that 30 years ago. In a way that was the worst gig because we never got to play.
"Another one I can remember happened to me but it wasn't with X. I was playing Oslo (Norway) with Dave Alvin. We played two nights in 1991, and the first night the Gulf War started. ... But the next night we played and were about five songs into our set, and our road manager comes onstage and says, 'Don't ask any questions. Just stop playing!'
"So we leave, and they announce that the King of Norway had just died and the gig was canceled. Some people were respectful, and other people were going, 'Fuck the king!' We got the info that there was no music allowed until further notice."
— DJ Bonebrake, X