Monday, July 02, 2007
The combination of X and Dangerhouse Records equals a priceless punk rock memento. “Adult Books” backed with “We’re Desperate” and a cool picture sleeve photographed and conceived by the late Jules Bates was made even sweeter by the nifty handwritten lyrics. That John Doe… what a poetic songwriter! Everything about this relic brings back rich memories of the golden age of punk rock.
If you lived in Los Angeles, you’d smile to yourself listening to “Adult Books” and its reference to Screamer, Tomata duPlenty. If your fancy was indeed adult books, the name-checking of pulp potboiler Valley of the Dolls author Jackie Susann was another smile-inducing moment.
“We’re Desperate” was to LA punk as “God Save the Queen” was to London punk…a snapshot of a situation all-too-personally-familiar among its intended audience.
Me, I got punk’d early on by the combination of Patti Smith, John Cale, Television and their own poetic references to punk poets of another century. When X formed in Los Angeles, I was pretty excited that we had our own poetic punk corps whose premier scribes were informed by LA’s very own genre – noir.
Were John Doe and Exene our Dashiell Hammet and Lillian Hellman or were they James M. Cain and Aileen Pringle? - regardless of any parallel real or imagined, or stretched… X = Los Angeles, full stop. Their Dangerhouse singles = LA Punk in material form.