Clem Burke will always hold a special place in the hearts of British drummers.
Though he and his band, Blondie, came out of the super-cool underground music scene that centred on New York’s CBGBs club in the 1970s, it was British audiences who most readily embraced the band’s sound and aesthetic.
And as a self-confessed Anglophile in love with the drumming of Keith Moon, even down to playing a Moonie-style red sparkle Premier with Blondie, Clem has always repaid the Brits’ love in kind.
This year Blondie began gearing up for an exciting year – their 40th anniversary year. In March they guested at the SXSW festival in Texas, and they have just released a brand new album, Ghosts Of Download, packaged together with an album of re-recorded greatest hits as Blondie4(0) Ever.
Not to mention they’ve just nailed their slot at Glastonbury. When we spoke to Clem for this interview, he and the band had just been awarded ‘Godlike Genius’ by the NME. Not bad going, eh?
“It’s really funny!” says Clem. “It’s good, I mean it’s interesting. I think maybe Dave Grohl was the only other American artist who’s got it and Debbie’s the first woman to have gotten it, along with the band. But it’s thrilling, you know?”