Rhino Records will complete the X reissue process on May 21st by re-releasing the band’s final three albums — More Fun in the New World (1983), Ain’t Love Grand! (1985) and See How We Are (1987) — with bonus tracks. Among the previously unreleased material are the seminal Los Angeles punks’ covers of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited,” the Troggs’ “Wild Thing,” the Replacements’ “I Will Dare” and the Small Faces’ “All or Nothing.”
“They’re songs we did for fun in the studio,” says singer Exene Cervenka. “Then there’s alternative takes of things that are more like horsing around kind of stuff — being silly in the studio.”
Given that X still occasionally play live, Cervenka is hardly caught up in the nostalgia of the reissues. “I don’t really think about it much,” she says. “It’s stuff I’ve done in the past. Not that it wasn’t important at the time or isn’t special to me or that I still don’t feel the same way about that time, but I’m just not going to sit down and listen to these records. If someone did a Gun Club bootleg I’d be excited, or other bands from that era. I’d love to see a Gun Club video of a show I knew I was at, but it’s hard to listen to your own stuff objectively.”
Cervenka’s current band Original Sinners will release their self-titled debut on June 25th. “The sound is really amazing,” says Cervenka. “It’s a rock & roll record in the truest sense of the word, as opposed to speed metal or punk rock.”
Although no tour is scheduled to coincide with the reissues, X will play shows on May 3rd and May 4th at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood as part of the weeklong Beatfest, a tribute to the poets and writers of the Beat era. The event will also feature performances by Steve Earle, Ray Manzarek and Love, featuring frontman Arthur Lee, who was recently freed from prison.