Exene Cervenka, do you remember her? I do. I was thinking about Exene just the other day. I saw a girl at Brown University working in a student café. She looked like a young Exene Cervenka. A spitting image. Well, a spitting image if Exene were attending an Ivy League University and 21 years old. I guess that is sorta the Exene I remember. The Exene I remember from when I was in college. She was young.She was so punk rock. She was so LA. I was entranced by her. I saw X when for the first time when I was in high school. They were opening for a home town favorite, Talking Heads. I was there for David Byrne and of course Tina Weymouth but first there was X. They were the opening band and billed as “X from LA”. I only sort of knew who they were. I had heard of them, but didn’t know any of their shit. I was there for Talking Heads. Exene came out on stage and I was enthralled. Yeah there was John Doe and Billy Zoom and D J Bonebreaker; but there was Exene.
She rocked, no, she fucking rocked and I loved her. I had to know more about this chick. I needed an X album. Pronto! I remember going to the record store, remember record stores, and buying their first album. I remember rocking out. Years later I worked with John Doe and thought “whatever.”. I knew it was Exene!
Sure he rocked but I always thought he was a bit country folk for my tastes and it turned out I was right. Yeah, Exene rocked she was an artist. She made freaky colleges and rambled poetically. That rocked. I moved to California and I was still loving X. I was on their turf now.
I was living on the left coast and I became so left coast and Exene made even more sense. I was in LA for work, doing crap for cash. How LA is that? I met up with this agent chick in LA.
She lived in a cool apartment in Hancock Park. I was hanging in Hancock Park one night and we were drinking beer and I needed to pee. I went into her bathroom to take a whizz and was amazed by her bathroom. There were these wild freaky murals all over her bathroom walls.
I came out and asked her what was up with her bathroom. She told me that Exene had once lived in her apartment and painted the murals and the landlord had put a thin coat of white paint on the bathroom walls. Apparently the steam from the shower had created a pentimento effect and the paintings he had covered over bled through.
That was punk rock.
I was back on the east coast for a wedding and a friend called me up and said he saw a show was playing that I should check out when I was in town. It was X.