Exene Cervenka (born Christene Lee Cervenka; February 1, 1956) is an American singer, artist, and poet. She is best known for her work as a singer in the California punk rock band X.[1]

Exene Cervenka
Cervenka at The Chestnut Cabaret in 1986
Cervenka at The Chestnut Cabaret in 1986
Background information
Birth nameChristene Lee Cervenka
Also known as
  • Exene
  • Exene Cervenková
  • Christine Notmyrealname
Born (1956-02-01) February 1, 1956 (age 68)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OriginLos Angeles, California
Occupation(s)Singer, poet, visual artist
Years active1978–present

Music career edit

Cervenka at SXSW 2010

The 21-year-old Cervenka met 23-year-old musician John Doe at a poetry workshop at the Beyond Baroque Foundation in Venice, California.[2] Cervenka started working there.[3]

Billy Zoom (guitar) and John Doe (bass and vocals) founded X in 1977,[4] with D.J. Bonebrake coming aboard as drummer. Doe asked Cervenka 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.

She learned to play guitar from Dave Alvin of The Blasters.[5]

Collaborations edit

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.[6]

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.[7][8]

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. She gave a reading of her poem "They Must Be Angels," and appeared in an interview skit with Decoupage 2000 hostess Summer Caprice.[9]

Art career edit

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.

Personal life edit

Cervenka was married to John Doe from 1980 to 1985. She met her second husband Viggo Mortensen in 1986 on the set of the comedy Salvation!, a parody of televangelism. Mortensen played her husband Jerome. They married on July 8, 1987. On January 28, 1988, Cervenka gave birth to a son, Henry Blake Mortensen. Mortensen and Cervenka lived in Idaho for three years.[2] They separated in 1992, and were divorced in 1997.[10]

Cervenka married musician Jason Edge, who went on to play in her band Original Sinners.[11] Edge and Cervenka are now divorced.[12]

Cervenka moved from Los Angeles to Jefferson City, Missouri,[2] for four years, and then returned to Southern California.[13] She now lives in Orange County.[14][15]

Health edit

On June 2, 2009, Cervenka released a statement revealing that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.[16][17] Well before this diagnosis, she and X had actively supported Sweet Relief, a charity that aids uninsured artists. Sweet Relief was begun by musician Victoria Williams when she herself was diagnosed with MS.[18] In 2011, Cervenka said she may have been misdiagnosed.[14][19] However, Cervenka had to cancel a Spring 2011 tour due to problems associated with her MS.[20] During a July 2015 interview, John Doe said that the multiple sclerosis diagnosis was a misdiagnosis, that Cervenka, after consulting with various doctors who were not able to diagnose her, is healthy.[21]

Conspiracy theories edit

Cervenka, as a self-styled "conspiracy therapist," has provoked controversy on social media and on YouTube, under the name "Christine Notmyrealname," by advancing conspiracy theories including the view that the Isla Vista shootings were a hoax designed to bring about stricter gun control laws. After the backlash, she has issued an apology on her Facebook and Twitter accounts and her conspiracy related YouTube videos are no longer available for viewing.[22][23][24] However, when pressed in interviews, Cervenka has insisted on a talking point of a "fake" news media, and has given tacit approval to what critics describe as fringe ideologies[specify] espoused on message boards and by then-President Donald Trump.[25]

Discography edit

X edit

Singles, soundtracks, compilations, etc. edit

Albums edit

The Knitters edit

Solo edit

Bands edit

Other edit

  • 1985: Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka: Twin Sisters LP (Freeway). Poetry performance recorded at McCabe's Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, CA on February 1, 1985.
  • 1995: Lydia Lunch & Exene Cervenka: Rude Hieroglyphics (Rykodisc). Recorded live at the Sapphire Supper Club, Orlando, FL on March 20, 1995.
  • 1999: Decoupage 2000: Return of the Goddess. Read poem "They Must Be Angels" and appeared in an interview skit.[9]
  • 2012: John Doe & Exene Cervenka: Singing and Playing (Moonlight Graham Records). Recorded at Way Station April 2–3, 2010.[31]

Additional musical contributions edit

  • 1994: Applegate, Christina, and Elizabeth Pena. Across the Moon. Los Angeles, CA: Hemdale Home Video, 1994. ISBN 978-1-569-20068-1 Music composed by Christopher Tyng & Exene Cervenka
  • 1996: Honor: A Benefit for the Honor the Earth Campaign (Daemon Records). "The Future is a War" by Exene Cervenka
  • 1997: G.I. Jane original soundtrack (Hollywood Records). "The Future is a War" by Auntie Christ
  • 1999: One Man's Meat by Viggo Mortensen (Lightning Creek). Features Exene Cervenka on vocals, guitar
  • 2000: Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors (Elektra Records). "Children of Night" by Perry Farrell and Exene
  • 2001: Punk-o-rama 2001, Vol. 6 (Epitaph Records). "We're Desperate" by Pennywise with Exene
  • 2002: Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three (Sanctuary). "Wasted" by Exene Cervenka
  • 2009: The People Speak original soundtrack (Verve Records). "See How We Are" by Exene Cervenka & John Doe
  • 2011: Kings and Queens by Blackie and the Rodeo Kings (Dramatico). "Made of Love" featuring Exene Cervenka
  • 2018: "Queen for a Day" by Skating Polly featuring and also written by Exene Cervenka
  • 2018: "Destroying Angels" by Garbage with John Doe and Exene Cervenka

Video edit

Works or publications edit

Exhibitions edit

One-person exhibitions edit

Two-person exhibitions edit

Group exhibitions edit

Exhibition catalogs edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Prato, Greg. "Exene Cervenka: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Trucks, Rob (May 20, 2008). "Interview: Exene Cervenka of X". Village Voice. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  3. ^ "Exene Cervenka – Singer, songwriter, poet, artist" (audio interview). Storytellers. Blog Talk Radio. July 3, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  4. ^ Keith Valcourt (March 30, 2011). "Exene Cervenka: High Priestess Of Punk". Rockerzine.com. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  5. ^ Kay, Tony (April 24, 2010). "More Fun in the New World: Exene Cervenka of X, Interviewed". The SunBreak. Archived from the original on April 24, 2010.
  6. ^ Palmer, Robert (November 3, 1982). "The Pop Life; 2 Rock Queens Turn to Literature". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "Business: Diary; Who Says 'Nobody Ever Went Broke . . . '?". The New York Times. March 21, 1999. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  8. ^ Lecaro, Lina (February 28, 2006). "Punk Puppet Apocalypse". LA Weekly. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Decoupage 2000". Decoupagetv.com. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  10. ^ Heller, Zoe (December 2, 2011). "Viggo Talks and Talks". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  11. ^ Yokoland. "Exene Cervenka". Swindle Magazine. Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  12. ^ McCall, Michael (February 4, 2010). "Somewhere Gone from Exene Cervenka". Nashville Scene. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  13. ^ Lewis, Randy (October 6, 2009). "Keeping up with Exene Cervenka". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Fadroski, Kelli Skye (June 1, 2011). "Exene tells it straight on X, illness and O.C." Orange County Register. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  15. ^ Zaleski, Annie (October 21, 2009). "Somewhere Out There: Exene Cervenka's new solo record, Somewhere Gone, has strong roots in Missouri". Riverfront Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  16. ^ "A Statement from Exene Cervenka". Bloodshot Records. June 2, 2009. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  17. ^ Radford, Chad (February 1, 2010). "Despite her MS diagnosis, Exene Cervenka lives for the moment". Creative Loafing. Creative Loafing Atlanta. Archived from the original on February 18, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  18. ^ Cervenka, Exene (June 2, 2009). "A Statement from Exene Cervenka". ExeneCervenka.com. Archived from the original on July 30, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  19. ^ Ohanesian, Liz (October 6, 2006). "Exene Cervenka Returns to Southern California". LA Weekly. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  20. ^ "Exene Cervenka Cancels Tour". Bloodshot Records. April 4, 2011. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  21. ^ Stafford, James (July 27, 2015). "In Conversation With X's John Doe". Diffuser.fm. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  22. ^ "'80s Punk Star Exene Cervenka Claims Santa Barbara Shooting Was a Hoax". Radio.com. May 28, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  23. ^ Brown, Eric (June 1, 2014). "X Singer Exene Cervenka's Santa Barbara Shooting Conspiracy Theory Is One of Many". International Business Times. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  24. ^ Hicks, Tony (May 29, 2014). "Punk legend Exene Cervenka calls Santa Barbara shooting 'hoax'". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  25. ^ Kinsella, Warren (July 31, 2017). "When Even Rock Stars Like Donald Trump". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  26. ^ Palmer, Robert (June 23, 1982). "Pop Life; New Album Shows X Has Grown". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  27. ^ Pareles, Jon (July 20, 1995). "Pop Review; John Doe and Exene Go a Little Bit Country". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  28. ^ Pareles, Jon (October 29, 1989). "Reviews/Music; Half of X Equals Cervenka". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  29. ^ Gray, Chris (January 27, 2010). "Inquiring Minds: Exene Cervenka on Losing a Friend, Weeping Willows, Albums as Collage and Her Good Buddy Biscuit". Houston Press. Archived from the original on January 29, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  30. ^ Steffens, Charlie (March 2011). "An Interview with Exene Cervenka". AMP. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  31. ^ Bose, Lilledeshan (May 23, 2012). "How Exene Cervenka Came to Rule Over the Boy's Club". KCET. KCETLink. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  32. ^ Maslin, Janet (November 21, 1986). "Film: 'Unheard Music'". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  33. ^ "Kevin Costner in a "Lost" Western Movie Found and Released Exclusively Online" (PDF). Bad Day Movie. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 19, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  34. ^ Derrick, Lisa (July 20, 2010). "Bad Day: Kevin Costner's Secret Movie Released Online". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  35. ^ Bartruff, James (August 17, 1986). "Fiction : Poetry Loves Poetry, edited by Bill Mohr; photographs by Sheree Levin". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  36. ^ "Exene Cervenka Interview". Shaved Neck. June 26, 2002. Archived from the original on July 5, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  37. ^ Maslin, Janet (November 1, 2006). "Viggo Mortensen's Unusual Role: Indie Publishing Mogul". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2014.

External links edit