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Michael Hyatt's Photography
X the Band portfolio
X THE BAND
Photographs by Michael Hyatt
DESCRIPTION & SAMPLE PHOTOS

Following my trip to Ireland in 1979, where I was introduced to the punk rock scene there and in England, I began documenting the Hollywood scene. The first band I photographed was The Plugz at The Starwood. Then I made a formal portrait of The Plugz at the Olympic Auditorium when they opened for PIL. The image was used to promote upcoming Plugz shows and on a large silkscreen poster by Richard Duardo. Richard created the Punk Prom poster seen in the John & Exene - Hollywood photograph seen here. John and Exene saw the poster and asked me to photograph X. My first portraits of X were made at the Whiskey A Go Go on the afternoon and evening of the band's first appearance at the Whiskey following the tragic death of Exene's sister Mary on the night of the Los Angeles album release party. A few months later I photographed X at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara. My image of their performance was used on the back of their single White Girl/Your Phone's Off the Hook but You're Not. When Exene asked what I wanted to be paid for use of the image, I said "take me on your tour to photograph." The band's first tour departed Los Angeles December 9, 1980, the day after John Lennon was murdered and a couple of days after Darby Crash's death. Stops along the way included Tempe and Tucson, Arizona, Austin, Houston and Ft. Worth, Texas and New Orleans. It was a fascinating experience and one that provided numerous opportunities to photograph members of the band on the road. Six photographs from that tour are included here. Other images were made on a second tour of the west coast to Vancouver and around Los Angeles in the seminal years 1980 - 1983. Many of these images appear as postcards in the Lucky 13 Box Set and in the 2010 calendar. Exene's graphics are prominently displayed in both and in the 1982, 1983 and 1984 calendars. Note: the 1984 calendar, a datebook, matched 2012. See details in Calendars.

When I began documenting the Los Angeles music scene in 1980, I immediately recognized the immense talent of all members of X. Not only did John and Exene write compelling lyrics and sing fascinating harmonies, but John, Billy and D.J. were the best musicians on the scene. Billy's background as a rockabilly guitarist made for a sound unheard of anywhere else at the time and the poetic lyrics John and Exene composed reflected their lives as artists. No wonder X became the darling of rock critics (their second album Wild Gift was named "Record of the Year" by Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and the Village Voice). On top of that, each member of X was visually unique and endlessly fascinating for this photographer. No doubt, the music X created and the way they perform it has stood the test of time and contributed to their longevity as one-of-a-kind artist-musicians.


SAMPLE PHOTOS

X the Band (Los Angeles, 1981)
X the Band (Los Angeles, 1981)

 

X the Band at Whiskey A Go Go (Hollywood, 1980)
X the Band at Whiskey A Go Go (Hollywood, 1980)

 

X the Band - Exene (Austin, TX, 1980)
Exene (Austin, TX, 1980)

 

X the Band - John & Exene (Louisiana, 1980)
John & Exene (Louisiana, 1980)

 

X the Band - John Doe (Los Angeles, 1983)
John Doe (Los Angeles, 1983)

 

X the Band - Exene & Renoir's Two Sisters (San Francisco, 1981)
Exene & Renoir's Two Sisters (San Francisco, 1981)

 

X the Band (Tempe, AZ, 1980)
X the Band (Tempe, AZ, 1980)

 

X the Band - Exene (Tempe, AZ, 1980)
Exene (Tempe, AZ, 1980)

 

X the Band - Exene (Los Angeles 1981)
Exene (Los Angeles, 1981)

 

X the Band - DJ & John (Austin, TX, 1980)
DJ & John (Austin, TX, 1980)

 

X the Band - Billy Zoom (San Francisco, 1981)
Billy Zoom (San Francisco, 1981)

 

X the Band - John Doe (Los Angeles, 1983)
John Doe (Los Angeles, 1983)

 

X the Band - Exene (Houson, TX, 1980)
Exene (Houson, TX, 1980)

 

X the Band - John Doe (San Francisco, 1982)
John Doe (San Francisco, 1982)

 

X the Band - John & Exene (Hollywood, 1981)
John & Exene (Hollywood, 1981)

 

X the Band - D.J. Bonebrake (Los Angeles, 1981)
D.J. Bonebrake (Los Angeles, 1981)

 

X the Band - D.J. Bonebrake (Los Angeles, 1983)
D.J. Bonebrake (Los Angeles, 1983)

 

X the Band on American Bandstand (Burbank, 1982)
X the Band on American Bandstand (Burbank, 1982)

 

X the Band - D.J. and Billy (Los Angeles, 1982)
D.J. and Billy (Los Angeles, 1982)

 

X the Band at Arlington Theater (Santa Barbara, 1980)
X the Band at Arlington Theater (Santa Barbara, 1980)

 

Top Jimmy, Ray Manzarek & Billy (Los Angeles  1981)
Top Jimmy, Ray Manzarek & Billy (Los Angeles, 1981)

 

Billy (Hollywood, 1981)
Billy (Hollywood, 1981)

 

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