John Doe returns to Los Angeles with X

Jill Sobule on stage with, from left to right, John Doe, Dave Robbins and Tim Robbins at the Actor's Gang Theater.
Jill Sobule on stage with, from left to right, John Doe, Dave Robbins and Tim Robbins at the Actor's Gang Theater.
Jean Louis Darville/Actor's Gang Theater

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On Saturday, Dec. 19, the seminal Los Angeles punk band X will perform at the Wiltern Theater. Bass player John Doe is the founder of the group and also has a successful career as a solo artist.

He told KPCC's Alex Cohen that he believes it was fate that brought him from Maryland and singer Exene Cervenka from Florida to Los Angeles at the same time. Doe found his fellow band members guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer DJ Bonebrake through the Recycler magazine.

The foursome's music was significantly influenced by Southern California.

X's debut record came out in 1980 and was titled "Los Angeles." They even received an Official Certificate of Recognition from the city of Los Angeles for their contribution's to the city's music and culture.

Over the years their blend of punk earned them a serious following. Their sophomore album "Wild Gift" was named "Record of the Year" by the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Rolling Stone.

X has been through its share of break-ups and reunions.

But in recent years, the original line-up has started playing together again. This fall, they released a holiday album, lending their distinct punk sound to Christmas songs like "Jingle Bells."

John Doe has also maintained a solo career, both as a musician and an actor. You can see him in TV shows like "One Tree Hill" and "Law and Order." His song "The Golden State" wound up on the soundtrack to the HBO vampire show "True Blood." The soundtrack was recently nominated for a Grammy award.

In his spare time, Doe dispenses advice to aspiring musicians as part of his blog - What Would John Doe Do? For example, when asked how to measure success in the music business, Doe responded:

"Not to sound too Zen but; How do you measure success? If X would've measured it by sales, we would've given up after the third record. No one has to tell you that the music biz is a cruel master at best. You have to measure success on yr own terms. When I finally understood that making a record (writing & recording) was the greatest reward I would ever receive from the whole process; the eventual outcome (sales & reviews) took it's proper place. And I learned to enjoy it ten times more. I believe they call it 'being in the moment'. "