Happy Birthday John Doe
Despite the fact that he long ago made the decision to perform under a decidedly anonymous moniker, John Doe – who turns 60 today – has made some remarkably memorable music over the course of his long career, starting with his work alongside Exene Cervenka in the seminal Los Angeles punk band X.
Born John Nommensen Duchac in Decatur, Illinois in 1954, the future Mr. Doe eventually moved to California, where he and his bass teamed up with guitarist Billy Zoom in 1977 to form X. Although Cervenka started out as Doe’s poetry-writing girlfriend rather than his bandmate, she soon joined the lineup of X, along with drummer DJ Bonebrake, creating a membership which would remain the same all the way through the band’s fifth album, 1985’s Ain’t Love Grand! X carried on, however, and has continued to do so ever since.
Mind you, Doe doesn’t limit his workload to whatever X is doing: he’s released a plethora of solo albums, had a few other side bands (most notably the Knitters), and he’s got a relatively substantial resume as an actor, too, including notable roles in Salvador, Road House, Great Balls of Fire, Boogie Nights, Roadside Prophets, Georgia, and many other films and TV series.
To celebrate Doe’s birthday, we’ve put together a playlist featuring some of his greatest moments with X, along with a few occasions when he’s stepped out and worked with other artists.