[Editor's Note: Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners. Her column, Exene Says…, is her space to basically just write what's on her mind, everything from crazy life stories to political theories and observations about what's going on in this fucked up world of ours. To contact her, send all messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
On Sept. 4, my band X flew to Boston. My broom is so tired. Why? Because I had to get to New England for the first night of the Blondie/X tour in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.
The first show was at Hampton Beach Casino, which–just like the casino on Catalina Island–is a ballroom, not a gambling hall! There was, however, this strange mini-gambling casino down the beach. I lost $60 there, but the fact that it was small and local made it worth losing every cent, just to be playing cards with people with identities and histories and personalities; it was so old-fashioned, American and familiar.
Blondie was outstanding during sound check. Hearing Debbie Harry sing “Maria” in an empty, turn-of-the-century ballroom was so tingling! And the audience at the show was fantastic–it was amazing to see the energy of some of the hardcore X and Blondie fans, plus people seeing us for the first time. And I hate to sound biased, but our set was pretty great . . . at least that's what I've been told.
During Blondie's set, Debbie sported a black gown, black dunce cap and this glorious pair of gold Chanel sneakers that somebody had given to her just prior to getting onstage.
I also got to hang out with so many good people–20-, 21-, 45-, 50-, 57-year-olds–between the X set and Blondie, diving into conversations about punk, new wave, New York and LA, and the sense of originality lost in most music today.
I have to admit, though, I actually did find plenty of good music from the modern age thanks to countless hours listening to the Underground Garage channel on Sirius Radio. Among the cream of the crop were the Hurricanes, a band from OC, along with Skating Polly from Oklahoma City (you can call me biased since I produced their album).
At this stage in my career, it's amazing to still run into fans who've been with X since the '80s as they share their stories of the old days and bring their kids to the shows. Considering we only have so much time on this earth (nobody ever tells us how much), tours such as these always create so many magical moments. And tonight was an exciting, lovely beginning.
Tomorrow, we drive to Niagara Falls and play, then leave the next day for Atlantic City. The weather is nice here. But I do miss my dogs a lot.