Clem Burke Says David Bowie Was A Big Influence On Blondie

In a recent interview with Kyle Meredith, Blondie drummer Clem Burke shared that the band was influenced by David Bowie and the glam rock scene of New York City.

Debbie Harry co-founded Blondie with Chris Stein in 1974. They became one of the bands that paved the way for the new wave of glam rock bands. Before they reached commercial success, they played at a venue called CBGB‘s (Country, BlueGrass, and Blues), reserved for new wave glam-punk rock bands of the ’70s in New York.

Clem Burke, who was interested in glam rock, saw the potential of their frontwoman just like the prominent names in the scene. Blondie stayed as an underground band until they released ‘Parallel Lines’ which made them a success in the ’70s New York glam rock scene.

Burke stated that David Bowie was the most significant influence on most of the artists who wanted to have a glam rock sound at that time. He added that the Sex Pistols would agree that Bowie had brought a new wave that influenced the rock scene. He added that the New York Dolls were disbanding during that time, but they were also a band that influenced everyone in one way or another. Burke claimed the glam rock scene was their inspiration for Blondie’s sound.

Clem Burke’s words about David Bowie’s impact on their sound:

David Bowie has always had a big influence on us. I think he informed the new wave of punk rock in many ways I think even the people in the Sex Pistols admit to that. Everybody was a Bowie fan glam rock, like Mark Bolan. So there’s a bit of that in the sound as well, and we were in the midst of the breakup of the New York Dolls.

The New York Dolls influenced everyone in one way or another. Something like ‘Platinum Blonde’ and those demos feels like a female version of a New York Doll song where the lyrics are witty, and the wrath points of reference are not obvious. As I said, we were influenced by the glam rock scene in New York City.”

You can watch the interview below.