Outside, there were few lights on and the stars in the sky were visible and “just amazing”, according to the song’s co-producer, Ken Nelson.
While composing the song’s lyrics, _______ could not find the right words. He was thinking of a specific word, which he deemed a missing key word in the lyrics, to fit the song’s concept. He looked around the studio and found the telephone directory yellow pages, which happened to be situated nearest to him. ________ later titled the song X as a reference to the directory. He quipped, “In an alternate universe, this song could be called Playboy. The lyrics progressed from there with the band collaborating. Bassist ____ ________ came up with the opening line That night, having quickly composed the song, the band recorded it.
A much different origin of the song was told on The Howard Stern Show in November 2011. ______ explained to Stern that he was impersonating Neil Young while entertaining guests when he came across the first chord of the song, which stuck with him for a bit then in a Neil Young voice he sang the opening line . _______ went on to further explain that the word X has absolutely no meaning whatsoever and while writing the rest of the song he tried his best to change X to something else since every lyric before X made no sense but in the end the word X just sounded right. _______ also told Stern that through the years depending on the attitude and manner of whoever interviews him, he would make up some story about a song or album titles just to move on to the next question. _______ applauded Stern saying “I like you, Howard, so that’s the first time I’ve ever told anyone the truth behind X.”