"Blondie's Clem Burke" by Adam Budofsky

In-depth article on Clem Burke, “the best drummer New Wave had to offer.” Includes discussion of Burke’s career and craft as a “Premier” drummer.--Ed.

Blondie had it all in the late '70s: perfect pop songs, New York street smarts, Hollywood glamour, four number-1 hits, and, in Clem Burke, the best drummer New Wave had to offer.

Clem Burke, Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada, May 16, 1999
Credit: Marcine Linder Photographer

    ....In each forum, Clem Burke provides the sights and sounds that literally draw you in. This particular fan clearly remembers, as a teenager, being completely floored by Burke's Keith Moonish abandon on an American Bandstand performance of the gloriously tom-heavy hit "Dreaming." Twenty years later, Clem looks barely a day older perched behind his red sparkle Premier kit, trademark Beatle shag making a blur with each roundhouse 16th-note fill. Like a poster boy for the drums, Burke visually and sonically represents the pure joy of hitting like very few other players do.
    That Blondie had reunited at all is due in no small part to Burke's dedication and enthusiasm....Debbie Harry put it this way: 'Ever since I've known him, Clem has been dedicated to rock 'n' roll and being a pop star and musician. That's really all he ever wanted to be. It's his dream. He's worked for it, and now he's done it'....

Source: Modern Drummer, June 1999

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