X’s new video for “Delta 88 Nightmare” doesn’t feature the band itself, but the next generation: Exene Cervenka’s son Henry Mortensen (who also directed the video) and niece Carolyn Allen.
In the clip, the pair trek to Cannery Row, the famous waterfront area in Monterey, California, a fitting adventure as the video delves into the X’s rough-and-tumble memories of the late Seventies and their youth.
Mortensen and Allen’s journey is interspersed with vintage black and white footage of the area, echoing an experience Cervenka and John Doe shared in the Seventies. “It didn’t seem like it, but we were kids in 1977, living in Venice, California, which was a poor, rundown, beatnik/hippie stronghold,” they told Rolling Stone in a joint statement. “We read Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and wondered if there might be remnants of those romantic hobos and bohemians up in Monterey.
“We planned a spur of the moment road trip with our two best friends,” they continued. “After a death-defying, winding ride along the jagged California coast through Big Sur, we arrived in Monterey. But the canneries were mostly abandoned and one had become a shopping mall with fancy eateries. It was horrifying and the first time we had seen a grand industrial building turned into a playground for rich people.”
Soon, however, the X bandmates realized that they were a lot like the “hobos and bohemians” in Steinbeck’s novel. “We were dressed like bikers, beach bums and weirdos,” they said. “We loved our roles as rebels and misfits. I wished we had driven a Delta 88, but our rusted-out, bright yellow International Travelall made all the elites recoil in horror.”
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“Delta 88 Nightmare” first appeared as a bonus track on a 2001 of reissue Los Angeles, but will now be featured on a seven-inch with a newly recorded version of their 1987 track “Cyrano de Berger’s Back.” The seven-inch will be released on November 29th, but fans can pre-order and stream the track here.
Earlier this year, X returned to the studio and churned out five new or revamped songs over the course of two days with producer Rob Schnapf, including the refreshed songs on the seven-inch.