Hell, I told myself I wouldn't post this, but for for aging West Coast elder punks, X's "Fourth of July" might as well be John Phillips Sousa for how often it gets dragged out on Independence Day. Still, I resisted. Then a friend posted the video on Facebook with the comment "It's not the 4th of July until I hear this", and I gotta say, having not heard it for at least a year, it sounded fine. Written by ex-Blaster Dave Alvin, when he replaced Billy Zoom as guitarist for X. He was only in the band for a short while, and has recorded the song himself, but I've always categorized it as an X song, because once you have the endearingly awkward harmonies of John Doe and Exene Cervenka on a song, it's an X song. Not to downplay Zoom's or Alvin's contributions to the band, or drummer D.J. Bonebrake's for that matter. John and Exene, as us aging West Coast elder punks like to refer to them, singing any song together makes it an X song in my book.
It's not even really about the Fourth of July. It's a guy lamenting the dissipating relationship with his squeeze, trying to re-woo her by reminding her that it's the Fourth, "Hey baby, it's the Fourth of July" is his plea. It really is a great song, I have to say.
Dig the original X version, and a demo of it. If you're well familiar with X's version, check the live version by Alvin. He gets all Springsteen up in there, sans horns, the pianist doing the heavy lifting to great effect. Good shit Maynard.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
X - 4th of July mp3 at Bruised Fruit CDs
X - 4th of July (demo, streaming) at YouTube
Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men - 4th of July (live) mp3 at Archive.org
X - Fourth of July at YouTube After Alvin's departure, Tony Gilkyson on guitar