Make no mistake: it was both an honour and a privilege to have Clem Burke, drummer with the iconic US band Blondie, on the show to pick his favourite tunes. Not only are Blondie bone fide legends in their field -- with hits including Call Me, Maria, Hangin' on the Telephone and Heart of Glass -- they are also one of the bands who are most regularly picked by other guests to play on the show, so in that light it was particularly cool to have Clem arrive into studio.
Clem joined Blondie in 1975, a few months after Debbie Harry and Chris Stein had founded the band -- and he's been with the band through the decades ever since. "My quest when I was an 18-year-old lad was that I wanted someone to take me where I wanted to go," he said of his working relationship and friendship with Debbie Harry, the famous frontwoman of Blondie. "I wanted my Bowie, my Marc Bolan, my Jim Morrison. It just so happened that it was a woman who fulfilled that need. She's a gorgeous woman, but she's a toughie. She can deal with stuff."
Blondie played in Dublin in June with Phil Collins at the Aviva Stadium -- and Clem returned to Dublin last week because he was one of the many musicians who played Shane MacGowan's 60th birthday celebrations at the National Concert Hall, joining Bono, Sinead O'Connor and Glen Hansard, amongst others.
Clem chatted a bit about the night itself -- "Shane's songwriting is great, it was really rewarding and fun interacting with everyone," he said -- and then commenced picking some brilliant tunes for the show, from artists including The Kinks, The Ronettes and The Beatles. In some cases, the artists Clem loves are artists he knows personally. "The Kinks were a big influence on me," he said, "because when Parallel Lines came out in the States, we did a six-week tour with them in the States. Through the years, we kept crossing paths and always bonded."
For more, you can listen back to the show.
Clem Burke's Playlist:
- Blondie 'One Way or Another'
- The Kinks 'You Really Got Me'
- Ronettes 'Be My Baby'
- Stooges 'I Wanna Be Your Dog'
- Blondie 'Fun'
- The Music Machine 'Talk Talk'
- The Beatles 'I Saw Her Standing There'
- New York Dolls 'Trash'
- The Rolling Stones 'Not Fade Away'
- The Seeds 'Pushing too Hard'
- Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars 'Hang onto Yourself'