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Quite the World, Isn't It?

Exene Cervanka: Not about to fade away

The new issue of Orange Coast magazine has a piece I wrote on Exene Cervenka, one of the key figures in X, the Los Angeles roots-punk band from back before punk became an affectation (i.e., the good old days).

I met with Cervenka at The Filling Station in Orange, near where she lives and where I'm teaching part-time at Chapman University. It was a fun piece to do, and a great conversation. from the story:
Things have changed from those raucous days. Punk has moved from rebellion to commodity. The originals are becoming nostalgia acts, the imitators are the scene-setters and, were it not for all the hair dye, this night’s crowd of 50-or-so fans would look like a battalion of Q-Tips. Mosh pit? Um, no.

Cervenka has changed, too. Age is rarely gentle, and in Cervenka’s case it has brought along multiple sclerosis, diagnosed nearly a year ago. She keeps on top of it with medication, and, so far, the mysterious degenerative disease hasn’t had much affect on her physically.

And she has settled, improbably, in Orange County after a four-year sojourn in rural Missouri where she pursued a whim to live “in a big stone house out in the middle of nowhere in the country with my husband, making music and art.” In fact, Cervenka’s band on The Detroit Bar stage looks like one from a Missouri country and western roadhouse, circa 1955.
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