Punk rock band X to perform in Solana Beach

By Kristina Houck

Like most people, Exene Cervenka is headed home for the holidays. But her home is the road.

As the lead vocalist of the Los Angeles-based punk rock band X, Cervenka and her band mates John Doe, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake, are once again hitting the road for their annual holiday tour.

“It’s the time of year where we can work,” Cervenka said. “I love touring!”

The 24-date “A Family X-Mas” tour kicks off Nov. 29 in Phoenix and ends Dec. 31 in Dallas. With stops in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington and Texas, the band will make its way to Solana Beach Dec. 8 at the Belly Up Tavern.

The band has performed at the local venue several times, Cervenka said.

“I always like playing there because people are always happy there,” she said. “They’re up for a good time. It’s very much a celebration.”

Born as Christine Cervenka in Chicago, Cervenka grew up in Florida before relocating to Santa Monica in 1976. Through a poetry workshop, Cervenka met John Doe, and the pair later co-founded X. With Doe sharing vocals and on bass, Zoom on guitar and Bonebrake on drums, X formed in 1977 and released its first album, “Los Angeles,” in 1980.

More than three decades and seven studio albums later, the original lineup of X remains. The band recently joined rock band Blondie on its fall U.S. “No Principals Tour.”

“It was really good because I like that band a lot,” said Cervenka, who has also released music as a solo artist and as the singer of The Knitters, Auntie Christ and The Original Sinners. “They’re really wonderful people.

“The shows were great; the audiences were great. We had a fun time.”

Although Cervenka said X currently has no plans to release new music, the band’s music was recently released digitally for the first time in September.

Titled “The X Collection: 1980-1987,” the digital box set compiles the band’s first six studio albums. Deluxe versions of the band’s early albums “Los Angeles,” “Under the Big Black Sun” and “Wild Gift” are also available digitally. Standard and deluxe versions of the albums “More Fun in the New World” and “Ain’t Love Grand” will also soon be released digitally.

The set list for “A Family X-Mas” will include a number of the band’s most popular songs as well as the band members’ favorite songs. The Blasters, a rock band formed in 1979, will join X for every tour date except the New Year’s Eve gig.

“They’re one of our favorite bands,” Cervenka said.

“If anybody knows X and The Blasters are playing together and they don’t go — that’s good. I’d rather they not know who we are,” she said. “If they don’t come to this show then they’re obviously insane.”

The Belly Up Tavern is located at 143 South Cedros Ave. in Solana Beach.

General admission tickets cost $30. To purchase tickets to the show, visit

For more about X, visit