Exene Cervenka

Exene Cervenka is an American singer, artist, and poet. She is best known for her work as a singer in the California punk rock band X. Billy Zoom (guitar) and John Doe (bass and vocals) founded X in 1977, along with the D.J. Bonebrake as drummer. Later on, John Doe asked Exene to join soon after as a co-lead vocalist, and the duo were also the band’s primary songwriters. They released their debut album, Los Angeles, in 1980 and, over the next six years, five more albums.

In 1982, Cervenka published Adulterers Anonymous, her first in a series of four books in collaboration with artist Lydia Lunch. She and Lunch also released a spoken word album, Rude Hieroglyphics, in 1996 and toured in support of the project. From 1996 to 1999, John Roecker and Cervenka co-owned the Los Angeles store “You’ve Got Bad Taste.” The store specialized in kitsch and various “off-color” novelties. In 1999, as Exene Červenková, she appeared in the cult video Decoupage 2000: Return of the Goddess, along with guests Karen Black and the band L7.

In 2005, Cervenka’s journals and mixed media collages were exhibited in a one-person exhibition titled America the Beautiful at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The exhibit was curated by Kristine McKenna and Michael Duncan. An expanded version of the exhibition traveled to DCKT Contemporary in New York in January 2006.


1980: Los Angeles (Slash Records)

1981: Wild Gift (Slash Records)

1982: Under the Big Black Sun (Elektra Records)

1983: More Fun in the New World (Elektra Records)

1985: Ain’t Love Grand! (Elektra Records)

1987: See How We Are (Elektra Records/Asylum Records)

1988: Live at the Whisky a Go-Go (Elektra/Asylum Records)

1993: Hey Zeus! (Big Life Records)

1995: Unclogged (Infidelity Recordings/Sunset Boulevard)

1997: Beyond and Back: The X Anthology (Elektra Records)

2004: The Best: Make the Music Go Bang! (Elektra Records/Rhino Records)

2005: X – Live in Los Angeles (Shout! Factory)

2020: Alphabetland (Fat Possum Records)


Cervenka, E. & Mortensen, V. (2006). Magical Meteorite Songwriting Device: Collages. California: Perceval Press.

Cervenka, E. (1993). Virtual Unreality. Los Angeles: 2.13.61 Publications.

Lunch, L. & Cervenka, E. (1982). Adulterers Anonymous. New York: Grove Press.

Jarecke, K. & Cervenka, E. (1992). Just Another War. Mont: Bedrock Press.