While X vacationed, its name and iconography were overtaken by the ascendancy of Malcolm X in the public imagination.
In 1980, the band's debut album, "Los Angeles," shown above, sported a burning X on its cover. Now, as the band prepares for a comeback after a four-year break, even some longtime fans may more readily associate that same imagery with the opening sequence of Spike Lee's epic film biography, "Malcolm X."
X bassist John Doe says he saw it coming: "A few years ago, people were telling me, 'I'm seeing all these people with "X" hats. I didn't know you had such a huge black following.' "
But Doe thinks that with the band's upcoming album and live performances, "we'll distinguish ourselves" from the Malcolm X phenomenon.
"It's very strange, because suddenly it's almost as if we never existed, as if we had no rights to that imagery," adds co-singer/songwriter Exene Cervenka. "I like Malcolm X; it's for a good thing. But it does create a mini-hurdle for us."