X - DETROIT 1982

August 23, 2014 – 5:05 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Detroit 1982 [no label, 1CD]

Live at Clutch Cargo’s, Detroit, MI; July 23, 1982. Very good soundboard.

Ten years before the cries of “Sell out!” were directed at Nirvana for leaving the indie Sub Pop label for the major-distributed Geffen Records, Los Angeles band, X, were confronted with the same accusation.

In 1980, after being turned down by all the majors, the band signed with Slash Records, a label begun by their friends, for their debut, Los Angeles. Then the album sold over 60,000 units and maintained that figure even for their second album, Wild Gift. By their third album, Under The Big Black Sun, the band split for Elektra citing Slash’s poor distribution as the main reason. Fans, of course, cried “Sell out!”

But political correctness within the punk community expressed itself in another way. While X were friendly with punk bands such as Fear and Circle Jerks, the fans of the latter bands hated X. Singer Exene Cervenka remembered how they rescued a long-haired fan from being beaten by skinheads at a gig. “By doing that, we alienated the 20 people who wanted to beat him up. It would be easy for us to shave our heads and come out looking like those kids. They’d love it! They wouldn’t consider it selling out, but it would be.”

While X became the champions of the West Coast punk scene (the East Coast had the crown for a long time), they had many other musical influences. Guitarist Billy Zoom, who cut his teeth in soul and rockabilly outfits (he was in Gene Vincent’s last backing band), gives an elastic, bouncy sound to X’s brand of punk… Meanwhile, bassist and vocalist John Doe sings in a throaty hillbilly fashion which oddly blends with Cervenka’s flat, high-pitched vocals. The latter drew from her avant-garde art background. She had no formal training. And drummer DJ Bonebrake brings in a jazz influence with his sense of syncopation. - BigO, July 1995

+ + + + +

Thanks to Friend of JEMS for taping the show; Mike Ziegler for the transfer; and to weedwacker67 for sharing the tracks at Dime.


Acquired master tape from the JEMS archives. This one captures punk greats X touring in support of their major label debut Under The Big Black Sun. This board recording has been around for years but we believe that is the first time a copy has been circulated directly from the master cassette and the first time based upon information out on the net complete including the last encore I’m Coming Over. This transfer should sound as good if not better than all known circulating copies. (Oct. 2011)

Lineage: ANA(M) > WAV [96kHz/24bit] > WAV [44.1kHz/16bit] > FLAC [Level 8]
Transfer: Nakamichi CR-7A > PreSonus FireStudio Project > Adobe Audition 3.0 > Cdwave editor > FLAC frontend 1.7.1
Taping Gear: Sony TC-D5
Taped By: Friend of JEMS
Transferred By: Mike Ziegler

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Soul Kitchen 2:53 (4.8MB)
Track 02. Soundcheck Jam 1:04 (1.8MB)
Track 03. Riding With Mary 3:19 (5.6MB)
Track 04. How I Learned My Lesson 2:34 (4.3MB)
Track 05. Los Angeles 2:48 (4.7MB)
Track 06. The Have Nots 4:07 (6.9MB)
Track 07. Real Child Of Hell 3:05 (5.2MB)
Track 08. Sex And Dying In High Society 2:16 (3.8MB)
Track 09. We’re Desperate 2:05 (3.5MB)
Track 10. Some Other Time 2:50 (4.8MB)
Track 11. The Unheard Music 4:32 (7.6MB)
Track 12. The Hungry Wolf 3:57 (6.7MB)
Track 13. Your Phone’s Off The Hook 2:36 (4.4MB)
Track 14. Motel Room In My Bed 2:46 (4.7MB)
Track 15. White Girl 3:36 (6.1MB)
Track 16. Audience 1:21 (2.3MB)
Track 17. The Once Over Twice 2:32 (4.3MB)
Track 18. Because I Do 2:51 (4.8MB)
Track 19. Sugarlight 2:24 (4.0MB)
Track 20. Beyond And Back 3:11 (5.4MB)
Track 21. Johnny Hit And Run Pauline 4:55 (8.3MB)
Track 22. Under The Big Black Sun 3:15 (5.5MB)
Track 23. Year 1 1:25 (2.4MB)
Track 24. Back 2 The Base 2:24 (4.0MB)
Track 25. Nausea 3:59 (6.7MB)
Track 26. It’s Who You Know 2:22 (4.0MB)
Track 27. I’m Coming Over 1:25 (2.4MB)
77 mins

Exene Cervenka - vocals
John Doe - vocals, bass
Billy Zoom - guitar
DJ Bonebrake - drums

Click here to order X releases.

+ + + + +
+ + + + +

Click here for more shows that are still open for sharing.

Click here for closed shows.
(Readers can email us a request to reopen closed shows.)

  1. 11 Responses to “X - DETROIT 1982”

  2. YEAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Happy Camper on Aug 23, 2014

  3. X marks the spot!

    By Elvislives on Aug 23, 2014

  4. Clutch Cargo’s? It used to be tough deciding where to go and who to see back then around Detroit. Since we went to bars where the proto-punk sound was invented almost 15 years prior, this would have been a real yawner.
    Gene Vincent? What about Wayne Kramer?

    By nobsartist on Aug 23, 2014

  5. did they really name a club after the cartoon character? i have never heard of that venue. when did it open?

    at a book store in the west village in nyc back in the early 80s lydia lunch and exene showed up and signed books and met fans. oddly enough very few ppl if any took pics other than myself so they didnt mind posing and doing some very nice ‘voguing’ for me. the store was b daltons on the corner of 6th ave and 8th street on the south east corner where the prison once was over 60 yrs ago.
    other giants showed up there to sign books too including zappa and william s burroughs and roddy mcdowell etc.

    By darth on Aug 23, 2014

  6. I saw X a bunch around this time - San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, etc. - the energy and power of the shows was incredible. Just the other day I was thinking, “I wish X would release more live music from those days…” and here it is! Thank you!!!!!

    Last month (7/10-13), they played their first our albums in their entirety at the Roxy in LA. Same original four members, their best four albums - anyone know where I can get copies of them?????

    By rick on Aug 23, 2014

  7. Exene is right. X got trashed because they didn’t limit themselves to the Neanderthal bonehead punk conformist template; they actually had thoughtful lyrics, arrangements, musical chops, humor, variety (the Knitters!), etc.
    As Jim Morrison once put it years back when his band was being trashed by the hip-eoisie of the day: “..they hate because we’re so GOOD!”

    By Happy Camper on Aug 23, 2014

  8. Thank you so very much, BIG O!
    You are the best!

    By THE Russian Assassin on Aug 24, 2014

  9. RICK IS RIGHT!! Where can we find the 4 recent July shows where they played those first 4 awesome lps in order?

    Big O, if you could get those shows…. it would be awesome!

    By THE Russian Assassin on Aug 24, 2014

  10. Thanks! This band promised much and became more famous for the later ā€“ more mainstream oriented - material. Under The Big Black Sun was a great record. Saw them once ā€“ in a small club in Zurich, Switzerland. That show was a bit a let down ā€“ I think Exene was neither drunk or too stoned.

    By Tony Lauber on Aug 25, 2014

  11. X post got me lazy arse out to dredge up the long unheard music of “Live at the Whiskey AGoGo”. Sucker sounds as great now as it did then. No offense and if course, unfair comparison, but SO MUCH better than this posting. And it’s legit and the point here is to support the music, so if you like this, BUY the sucker! You’ll feel better in the morning.

    By Happy Camper on Aug 29, 2014

  12. Hot damn!!!!!!!!!!

    By peskypesky on Sep 7, 2014

Post a Comment