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Produced by rock icon Ray Manzarek of the Doors, X’s explosive dark tales from the edge of America, expressed through a poetic fusion of roots, jazz, blues, punk and rockabilly, transformed Southern California’s sun-baked musical ecosystem and helped spawn the alt-rock revolution. Their first four records – Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under the Big Black Sun and More Fun in the New World – earned Album of the Year nods over Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Talking Heads and the Clash. Rolling Stone listed Los Angeles and Wild Gift among the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
X: THE UNHEARD MUSIC chronicled the band at its peak, spanning five years in the lives of original members John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake. Premiering at the 1986 Sundance Film Festival, the film was widely acclaimed for its striking visionary style and unforgettable music. Hailed by the Boston Globe as “the punk era’s LAST WALTZ…”, it was later inducted into the Sundance Collection at UCLA Film Archives as a “seminal independent film.”
In the years following the film’s first release, director W. T. Morgan has continued to document the ongoing evolution of X and its changing cast of individual members, offshoots, and associates – including the late Ray Manzarek, The Knitters, Blasters, Los Lobos, Dave Alvin, Tony Gilkyson, Viggo Mortensen, Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and Eddie Vedder.
Much of the early footage – including candid behind-the-scenes portraits, home movies and experimental shorts – was shot on 8mm and super 8, and is only now seeing the light of day, courtesy of recent HD transfers at Pro8mm.
Now Morgan is finally assembling this and more recent material into a sequel of sorts, tentatively entitled SEE HOW WE ARE.
BIO: Bill Morgan is not a Creationist, Beat archivist, or team doctor for the Boston Red Sox, despite what Google says.
Morgan writes and directs in multiple media. Feature films include X: THE UNHEARD MUSIC, preserved by the Sundance Collection as a “seminal independent film”; and A MATTER OF DEGREES, developed as part of the Sundance Filmmaker Lab.
Television credits include co-writing 500 NATIONS, a CBS eight-hour documentary miniseries on the history of American Indians, hosted by Kevin Costner and nominated Best Special of the Year; and writing and directing its Discovery Channel update 500 NATIONS: THE FIRST AMERICANS, which aired during opening ceremonies for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. alongside live performances of the PBS special SPIRIT – a multimedia “journey in dance drums and song” co-created with Peter Buffett.
Morgan has also created film, television and stage projects with Michael Blake, author of DANCES WITH WOLVES; pioneering multimedia works for IBM (COLUMBUS and EVOLUTION/REVOLUTION) and Microsoft (500 NATIONS); music videos; graphically-rich role-playing videogames as senior vice president of Time Warner’s inscape; and location-based entertainment for Walt Disney Imagineering and others.
Morgan attended Stanford University; studied with Lee Strasberg; serves as board member/chairman emeritus of The Actors’ Gang theater company (artistic director Tim Robbins); and is active in philanthropic, cultural and political causes, including media work during the Obama presidential campaigns.
Upcoming projects include a sequel to UNHEARD MUSIC.
Check out some footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZUmLqfyKGA