Win Tickets ($70): X The Band @ Crystal Ballroom | Rock, Punk Rock

We are giving away a pair of tickets to X The Band @ Crystal Ballroom on December 28. To win, comment on this post why you’d like to attend. Winner will be drawn and emailed Friday, November 27.


From our sponsors:
December 28, 2017
7:45 p.m. doors, 8:45 p.m. show | $30 ADV, $35 Doors | All Ages
More info:

Crystal Ballroom
1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

Three decades after the inception of X, one thing is clear: X was not only one of the most influential bands to crash out of the punk movement of the late ‘ 70s, but the band’ s music continues to be sonically groundbreaking today. Songs written during the group’ s inception are as relevant and inventive today as they were in 1977.

The fact is, no one sounds like X and no one ever will.

It’s not surprising when you consider the group’ s unique beginnings, which can only be attributed to fate. On the same day with nearly the exact same wording, two want-ads appear in a local music rag. One was sent in by a guitarist named Billy Zoom, the other by bassist who called himself John Doe.

Zoom, a rockabilly rebel who’ d performed with Gene Vincent, had read a negative review of a band called the Ramones. It said they only played three chords and they played ‘ em too fast. So naturally, he went to see them. The show was at the Golden West Ballroom in the L.A. suburb of Norwalk in early ‘ 77, and as soon as the Ramones started to perform, Zoom realized that, musically, he’ d found exactly what he wanted to do with his life.

Doe, who was originally from the Baltimore area, was already down with the East Coast CBGB’ s scene and by the time the two got in the same room together after responding to each other’ s ads, it seemed it was meant to be. They performed a few shows with various drummers before a poet with no ambition of being a singer would enter the picture.

Doe found her in Venice Beach, at a poetry reading. He liked her poems so much he offered to perform them in his band. The poet, Exene Cervenka, had just moved to town from Florida and she told him, no offense, but if anyone was gonna perform her poems, it would be her, and she soon ended up in the band. Zoom was skeptical about someone’ s girlfriend being in the band. After they did their first show with Exene, he didn’ t know exactly what it was she had, but he knew it was magic.

After a succession of drummers, Doe was at the underground punk club the Masque in Hollywood one night, checking out a band called the Eyes, which featured a pre-Go-Go’ s bass player named Charlotte Caffey. He called Zoom immediately and said he’ d found their drummer. Doe told him he played with a parade snare and hit it hard as a hammer. Zoom told him to promise him anything. His name was D.J. Bonebrake and he quickly signed on. The band was now complete, and X would soon emerge from the young punk scene as one of its most successful offspring.

The band’ s early albums, Los Angeles (1980), produced by Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Wild Gift (1981), and Under the Big Black Sun (1982) explored dark love and an even darker L.A. with the unflinching eye of a Raymond Chandler novel. Doe and Cervenka would marry and later divorce, but they’ d always remain soulmates. As they released each ensuing album, More Fun in theNew World(1983) and Ain’t Love Grand (1985), the band continued to grow sonically and politically, fearlessly mixing genres without ever losing its center. As each member went on to explore diverse careers-careers that included acting, art, writing, producing and multiple side projects.”

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68 Responses to Win Tickets ($70): X The Band @ Crystal Ballroom | Rock, Punk Rock

  1. Dana November 8, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    I think seeing X is a fantastic way to end an otherwise crummy year.

  2. Liz November 8, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

    Saw them years ago… Would be amazing to do it again!!

  3. ryan November 8, 2017 at 10:05 pm #

    Hey, big time

  4. Sarita November 8, 2017 at 10:32 pm #

    I’ve really been X-cavating my heart on why you should choose me. I’ll even minimize the X-clamation marks. I’ve always dreamed of seeing X and if you could make an X-ception and chose me I would be X-static.

  5. Michael November 9, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    I have been a fan of X since a friend played their “Los Angeles” Cassette for me back in the early 80’s. I have never heard a band like them ever. I don’t know how many more chances we have left to see them but I would sure love to see this legendary band at a legendary Portland venue. PDXPIPELINE please set me up with tickets.

  6. Dave G. November 9, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    I’d really love to X this one off my short list…

  7. Sam I. Am November 9, 2017 at 4:22 pm #

    Are you kidding? I would love to attend this show to help punk rock away my post Xmas blues. For the love of all things sacred and true, please pick this dude and his dandy of a date. Many thanks and glad tidings to you!

  8. Chris November 9, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

    One of the best bands ever! So, glad they still tour and sound so good. Zoom just keeps smiling. :-)

  9. Marni November 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    So exciting! Pick me!

  10. Maureen A. November 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    I love X!!!! It would be so awesome to win tickets to this show!

  11. Aaron Cullen November 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    Pick me! I’ve loved X for decades but I’ve never seen them!

  12. John November 9, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    Has it been 40 years already! Damn, I am feeling old.

  13. Shaun Peace November 9, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

    I seem to miss X (and all their various solo and side projects) every time they roll through town. Just finished John Doe’s book Under The Big Black Sun.
    Great band with great history.

  14. Cory November 10, 2017 at 8:35 am #

    Punk trip to NYC is what I need!!

  15. Leo November 10, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    I really would like to go, please. I will S your D. shake your dice.

  16. Mark November 10, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    Love this band!!! Getting back out there….much love

  17. Phil November 10, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    X is one of those bands that’s changes the direction of a culture, and this I want to see in person.

  18. Mike November 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    I have loved the music of X for so long but have never seen them in concert but want to so bad. I have seen John Doe solo once but would love to see them at The Crystal Ballroom. Hope they play my favorite song by them “Your Phone’s Off The Hook, But You’re Not”. That ones a classic.

  19. Wynand Van Emmerik November 11, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

    X is a great band. Would love to see them at the Crystal! thanks for the chance!

  20. panda November 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm #


  21. Solon November 13, 2017 at 9:38 am #

    I see red when I see you
    Fan belts break at 3am
    I get mad, drinks get spilled
    At 5 past 2, I don’t feel sad
    But then I see you
    And I see red

  22. Aaron November 13, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    Pick this poor little Critter on the road! ;)

  23. Tony November 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    X allowed a hated coworker and I to find common ground. Excellent! Maybe I’ll take them…

  24. JP November 14, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    I’ve never gotten to see them perform even though they’ve been here. I hope it happens this time!

  25. Robert November 14, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    Would love to go to this show – longtime fan.

  26. Sandy November 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    oh yes

  27. Jamie November 14, 2017 at 1:17 pm #

    Please and Thank You!

  28. Jane Pagliarulo November 14, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

    The last time my husband and I went to the Portland Opera to see a comedy, the libretto was SO BAD that we walked outside at intermission. Standing outside the lobby of the Keller, my husband said, “I cannot go back in there.”
    Me Neither!” I said. “X is playing at the Crystal! Let’s GO!”

    We were the best dressed there. It was unbelievable. Billy Zoom is still an amazing guitarist, there is no other.

  29. eliz November 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

    X is one of my ole time favorites! Glad to see them still performing – should be a great show!

  30. michelle Mathews November 14, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    I would LOVE to see Doe and Cervenka play again together in X!
    I lived in Venice years ago and this music brings back fond memories.. What a great date with my love this would be!!

  31. Alan M November 14, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

    “Hey baby, it’s the 4th of July.” Pick me.

  32. Amy November 14, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

    So fun!!

  33. David November 14, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

    I haven’t missed an X show in Portland since 1981. But sometimes life gets in the way & this year I can’t afford to go. Please help me keep a perfect record!

  34. Dawn November 14, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

    X on my moms birthday. How perfect!

  35. Michael Duey November 15, 2017 at 7:13 am #

    I wish I had seen X 40 times in 40 years! I’d love to add another show to get the number closer!

  36. Dan November 16, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    Would love to see these LA legends. Been a fan for years

  37. Kari Freeman November 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

    My all time favorite band…….haven’t seen them in decades and would like one more time.

  38. Frank Byers November 16, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    Because my brother is from Los Angeles, it would be appropriate for me to attend.

  39. Scott Pierce November 16, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    Been a fan since high school. 1980.

  40. Rina November 16, 2017 at 7:49 pm #


  41. Amy November 16, 2017 at 10:05 pm #

    I listen to them all the time. This would be incredible! Hoping to go!!

  42. Tina Bremer November 19, 2017 at 7:06 am #

    Love me some X

  43. molli taylor November 20, 2017 at 10:33 am #

    i would LOVE to see X, this seems to be the greatest show.

  44. tim schroeder November 20, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    love to get achance to see them?

  45. Bethy333 November 20, 2017 at 10:34 pm #

    Punxxxxx!! Lets do this is why! Woooooooh!!!

  46. Josh G November 21, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

    X tours so hard, I need to come out!

  47. Heidi November 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

    I’d love to go!

  48. Hayley November 21, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    Send me please.

  49. Gary S. November 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

    Been an X fan for years! So many good songs and highly influential. Since I can’t go home for the holidays this year it would be a great way to enjoy some downtime.

  50. Bob MacKay November 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    It doesn’t get any better than X

  51. Manda B November 21, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    X marks the spot? I’d love to see them again…

  52. kellie November 21, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

    Merry christmas to mee!!!

  53. John November 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

    Let’s end the year on a high note!

    • John November 22, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

      Sorry, I forgot that I already responded.
      Admi: please delete

  54. Chris November 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

    I’ve seen this band over 20 times, more than any other band. I’d love to go as your guest!

  55. Don Tidwell November 22, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

    the grandparents of lyric punk with harmony

  56. Mathew Trono November 22, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    The music nerd in me has to go to this

  57. Lynn Cary November 23, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    I saw X many years ago and would love to share them with my son!

  58. panda November 23, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    oh yeah let’s do this

  59. Sam November 26, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    X are amazing, great show everytime. Would be a great holiday surprise to see my favorite punk band this December!

  60. TaraFM November 28, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    I named my daughter after the lead singer… I’m not kidding! :)

  61. Jessica November 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    My family will have just left…please help me celebrate that!

  62. Jim Pilato November 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    I would love to see X again, haven’t seen them in 24 years!

  63. Susan November 29, 2017 at 12:21 am #

    This would be incredible to see! It’s been over 35 years since the first time I saw them. One of my favorite bands still! Post Xmas X

  64. Julie Forbes November 29, 2017 at 9:16 am #

    blown away by the power of X back in the 80’s and again in 2011 in PDX – true fan looking to recapture the magic after a long hard year – thanks

  65. Karla Gutierrez-Pugh November 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    I’d LOVE to go to see X. I grew up with them in Los Angeles but have never had the pleasure of seeing them live. They’re legendary!

  66. David December 1, 2017 at 11:25 am #


  67. Karl Michael jacobson December 3, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

    Yes, please and thank-you!

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