X-ing up with a thick black marker, triple Xs or a single X on record sleeves, skin, buttons, flyers or clothes in all different forms thinkable…that’s also a part of revendicating you’re straight edge – a lifestyle refraining from all sorts of drugs including alcohol and cigarettes. Making it seen. Showing the commitment to others. To put it short: The nearly 30 year-old visual history of straight edge is rich. But it’s mainly books with portrayal photographs of straight edge kids or books reconstructing the history of straight edge through interviews which are being published so far.
So this book by Adam Michael and Glen Cummings which traces the visual history of the letter X mainly within underground music culture just thrills me as huge parts of it are dedicated to straight edge and hardcore in general.
Parts of the visual research about varied meanings and forms of the X done for the book were exhibited at the Gallery W in New York in 2009. The book (5 x 7.5 inches, 112 pages, paperback) is available at x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x.org