A reunited X played with their original guitarist, Billy Zoom, for the first time in twelve years this Saturday at the Trocadero Transfer in San Francisco.
The show offered a little over an hour's worth of classic X -- consisting exclusively of material from their first five albums, including virtually all of their best known songs: "Los Angeles," "the Unheard Music," "Nausea," "Your Phone's Off The Hook But You're Not," "Johnny Hit And Run Paulene," "Breathless," and countless others.
Billy Zoom's guitar parts and solos were well-received by the sold-out crowd of aging punk rockers packed into the tiny club. Dressed in a black turtleneck and blue jeans, Zoom seemed to have no trouble pulling off the signature rockabilly licks that, for many X fans, were never duplicated after he left the band in 1986.
On stage, the band made little fuss about their reunion, conversing with each other and the audience only a little during the show. John Doe commented simply:
"This is very special for a lot of people, and we thank you and appreciate it." Exene Cervenkova said "it was fun."
Dubbed the "Beyond and Back" tour, X has reunited for this concert and a show later this month in Los Angeles. Their recently released retrospective double CD, "Beyond and Back," features mostly unreleased material such as demos, outtakes, and rehearsals along with their hit songs. The album's liner notes are sprinkled with photos and quotes from Henry Rollins, Joey Ramone, Jane Wiedlin, Joan Jett, and Moby, among others.
Along with a few other selections of old-school X merchandise, limited edition song books hand made by Cervenkova were available at the show. Entitled "Sing along with X," the zine features photographs and lyrics from the band's early years.
Opening the show, by special request of X, were San Francisco locals the Swingin' Utters and Sluts for Hire.
X formed in the late '70s in Los Angeles. After Zoom's departure, X continued
to tour and release albums for several years with guitarists Dave Alvin of the Blasters and Lone Justice's Tony Gilkyson.