As the name of Blondie’s 1999 comeback album No Exit implies, there seems to be no end for these new-wave legends.
Debbie Harry & Co. (pictured) hit the road this summer with rocker Pat Benatar and late-’90s hard-rock girl band the Donnas. The tour stops in Memphis for a show at Mud Island on Saturday, August 1st. Blondie drummer Clem Burke took a few minutes from the road to speak to the Flyer about Blondie’s past and future.
Flyer: Rap music is a huge force in Memphis. But didn’t Blondie pioneer rap with “Rapture” in 1981? Clem Burke: I’m sure it was the first hit rap song. The melody to the song was written by the band, while a lot of rap music at the time sampled other hit songs. But we wrote our own hit song and put the rap in, and that’s kind of the template today for modern-day rap, like with Kanye West.
What’s your favorite Blondie song? It’s difficult to choose. But my favorite record is Autoamerican, which has “Rapture” on it. When we delivered that record to the record company, they told us it didn’t have any hits, and it ended up having two number-ones, “The Tide Is High” and “Rapture.”
Is there a new Blondie album in the works? We hope to have a new record out by the middle of next year. One of the reasons we went on tour now is to get the band up and running. We’ll go into the studio afterward and record some new work. We’ve recorded a few new songs. We’ll be playing one or two when the mood strikes us during the show. — Bianca Phillips