New exhibit at Tulsa's Woody Guthrie Center to pay tribute to punk band X
TULSA – As punk music was developing in New York in the late 1970s, Los Angeles was making strides in the genre, thanks in part to the work of four pioneering musicians in the band X.
"X: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles" is the latest exhibit to be displayed at Tulsa's Woody Guthrie Center, 102 E Mathew B. Brady St.
Presented by the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, the exhibit will give visitors a glimpse into how X's four original members – Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake – quickly established the band as one of the best in the first wave of L.A.'s flourishing punk scene, according to a news release.
"An X exhibit in a museum? Unbelievable! We are honored, dumbstruck and so grateful that all four original members are here to celebrate and share our history and 40th anniversary," the band members said in a statement.
"It's a very long way from a basement on Hollywood Blvd (The Masque) to the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, but we feel that we bring with us all the punks from then and now. We are just the representatives for what has gone before and what is still to come."
"X: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles" opens Friday and will present a history of the influential West Coast punk band. Cervenka will speak at Woody Guthrie Center opening event Thursday, according to the news release.
Items on display in the exhibit will include:
- Original instruments and gear played by the band
- Handwritten lyrics and notebooks by Cervenka and Doe
- Clothing and other personal items
- Original concert flyers for L.A. shows
- Rare photographs and artwork by Cervenka
- "X: The Unheard Music" film, and more
Guthrie’s growth as a social justice activist through song and art developed during his time in Los Angeles, taking his music to the people in a spirit that musicians across genres would follow for decades to come, including punk.
“Woody Guthrie is considered the first punk rocker since he fought against the accepted norms for artists and wrote about real struggles to speak for the disenfranchised,” said Deana McCloud, executive director of the Woody Guthrie Center, in a statement. “Forty years ago, the L.A. punk band X followed in Woody’s footsteps as they addressed topical issues for their generation. It’s a pleasure to celebrate the impact the band has had on music and society as a continuation of Woody’s legacy.”
The exhibit will be on display at the Woody Guthrie Center through Aug. 20.
"This exhibit will place a much-deserved spotlight on the history of punk music in Los Angeles and one of the bands who played a vital role on the genre's impact on Southern California," said Grammy Museum Curator Nwaka Onwusa in a statement. "Visitors will get a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the development of X's career and how, after 40 years, they remain one of the few bands to continue to tour with all four original members."
For more information, go to www.woodyguthriecenter.org.