Billy Zoom's Jet Set

John Doe on BZ

1

I'm reading John Doe's book "Under the Big Black Sun" about the birth of LA punk. It is a great read with contributions from a who's-who of the scene and their recollections of it.

Anyway, I thought the GDP might like this passage from the author:

"Billy, however, demanded that the music kept to his definition of rock ‘n’ roll. He kept us from getting too strung out on “arty shit” as he would call it. He loved The Ramones’ “dumb lyrics” & wished we would write more like that. But as long as he could lay rockabilly riffs over my unconventional chord changes, he was happy. Our general contrary attitude, that rules were meant to be broken, and Billy’s dogged refusal to include anything more than the basics & purity in his definition of what was & wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll made X songs what they became."

2

A lot of history in book like that. Even tho back then I was just a Tedious Telecaster Blues Noodler, I really liked the Ramones blowing away the 1970-75 art rock scene...that were Brit and American bands both. I guess X started a few years later, but took a nearly as raw sound to a different place.

3

Hrm. That seems a bit like a left-handed compliment. Anyone else read it this way? Maybe not. And, from where I sit, X was not a simple band. They were f***ing weird. The guitar, especially, was sometimes complex and quite odd. Try playing some of it. There is some strange stuff in there.

4

Hrm. That seems a bit like a left-handed compliment. Anyone else read it this way? Maybe not. And, from where I sit, X was not a simple band. They were f***ing weird. The guitar, especially, was sometimes complex and quite odd. Try playing some of it. There is some strange stuff in there.

– LHR

I concur, those simple X Punk songs were not as simple to play as they sounded.

5

I got deep into Billy's playing on X records so it was always normal to me, but after hearing X, so much of the other 70's rock guitar seemed lame. Imagine that.

6

Hrm. That seems a bit like a left-handed compliment. Anyone else read it this way? Maybe not. And, from where I sit, X was not a simple band. They were f***ing weird. The guitar, especially, was sometimes complex and quite odd. Try playing some of it. There is some strange stuff in there.

– LHR

It didn't sound left-handed to me. It sound like an explanation of two guys approach to music told with respect by one of the guys and how the mix of the two attitudes made something extraordinary.

7

Let's hear what BZ has to say about it.

8

John's a communist and I'm a conservative. We somehow managed to make music together.

9

Well, I am about a hair's width to the right of a communist, and I love the music. Fortunately for us all, sometimes art transcends politics.

10

John's a communist and I'm a conservative. We somehow managed to make music together.

– Billy Zoom

its proved good results!!

11

I didn't take it as that at all, LHR. Quite the opposite, especially because of the text that preceded it. But, out of context, anything can happen. I think BZ said it best.

13

John's a communist and I'm a conservative. We somehow managed to make music together.

– Billy Zoom

Best quote ever

14

Just saw John play solo last night. He was great!

Billy, I offered him my best wishes for your health, and he said you were doing OK. That was good to hear!

15

John's a communist and I'm a conservative. We somehow managed to make music together.

– Billy Zoom

The exact opposite of the Ramones, with the same results.

But that is a great quote Billy!

16

The exact opposite of the Ramones, with the same results.

But that is a great quote Billy!

– rockometer_amp

Well THE GREAT Johnny Ramone was the conservative and Joey was the NYC liberal. They managed, altho it didn't go so well towards the end.

I'm a total clean player and I love the JR sound.

17

Johnny and I were great friends and shared similar musical and political views. Joey was a sweetheart, but not as bright as Johnny.

18

But the break between Johnny and Joey had to do with a personal issue more than politics.

19

Danny Feilds claims that they did it on purpose for the hell of it!

21

I just got that book when it came out. I have to say I was a little underwhelmed by it, anyone else feel that way? X is my favorite band but I thought the book could've talked a little more about the band; though, I do understand that it was supposed to be about the whole scene and not just one band. I thought John and Exene's chapters were good, as well as Dave Alvin, mike watt and Henry Rollins, the rest I could take or leave. A good book to have nonetheless

22

Her name is Linda.

– Billy Zoom

Even Joeys brother said he never got over her.

23

I plan on writing my memoirs, just as soon as I can remember some.

24

My main job in X was to save John from himself.

25

Hahaha, well you guys made some killer tunes! Under the big black sun is probably my all time favorite album. I'm meeting up with an upright bass player tomorrow night to jam, and hopefully find a drummer. Any advice for someone playing with others for the first time? Im 30 now, and haven't been in a band since high school....


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