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John + Exene
Seminal punk band X has been around for over twenty-five years. While guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake may have been the bones and muscle of the band, Exene Cervenka and John Doe were its heart and voice. Possibly the most influential punk band to come out of the Eighties, X is still going strong. Their excellent "Live in Los Angeles" CD/DVD just dropped into stores on May 8.
So it was with some interest that, while walking around West Hollywood recently, we came across this curious inscription. It's on the curb outside a modest house on Genesee. Could this be an archaological relic of the birth of Los Angeles Punk? Or perhaps the mark of an adoring fan? A little research revealed that John and Exene did indeed live on Genessee, which lends serious credence to the notion that they were responsible for the etching. The marking is dated 1980. This was written at the very nascency of the band, when Ray Manzarek came along and plucked them out of relative obscurity and into the studio to record "Los Angeles."
And where are they today? Well, at the moment of this writing, they're at the Pacific Design Center for a screening of the concert film. We found out about this way too late to be able to attend, so we're hoping someone made it to the event. If not, well...there's always this modest curb on Genesee. We can always drop by and touch a piece of Los Angeles pop culture history.