Drumming fraternity congratulates Clem on Honorary Award

Legendary drummers from across the globe have sent congratulatory messages to Blondie drummer Clem Burke, who is to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Gloucestershire this Saturday.

Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden described Clem as ‘the powerhouse drums of Blondie’ who “has been an inspiration to many and will continue to be so for many more years to come.”

Nicko added: “His style of solid groove, with splashes of taste and aggression sum up this ultimate rock drummer. Through fitness, stamina and passion he has remained one of the leading, old-school, giants of his genre.”

Stewart Copeland, best known as the drummer with The Police said:  “Blondie had great songs and a sexy singer but it was the effervescent drive of Clem Burke that lifted the band way above all of the competition.  The seventies and eighties were a time when virtuosity was frowned upon but Clem got chops into those pop tracks that were so slick that he completely got away with being a serious musician.”

Steve White, who drums for Paul Weller and has worked with the Style Council, The Who and Oasis added his congratulations to Clem: “Still one of my favourite-ever drummers and as important, a great guy, a true fan and an amazing ambassador for the art of drums.  You are truly deserving of such an honour, Earl [Palmer] would have been proud too.  Congratulations”

Nick Mason, drummer with Pink Floyd sent this message:  “It’s always great to hear about recognition for a drummer. Particularly when it’s particularly deserved for doing something as worthwhile and interesting as Clem’s work. Makes a change from the old TV out of the hotel window routine…….Congratulations!”

Clem will receive his honorary award, which will be presented by Vice-Chancellor, Dr Paul Hartley on July 30 at the Rhythmfest drumming summer school taking place at the University of Gloucestershire’s Park campus in Cheltenham.

The Clem Burke Drumming Project (CBDP) was launched in July 2008 in collaboration with Clem Burke, the University of Gloucestershire and the University of Chichester.  The seminal research revealed that professional drummers had a heart rate profile similar to professional footballers and expended a significant amount of energy per performance. 

The award recognises not only Clem’s musical excellence, but also the pioneering work he has undertaken to explore the physical demands of drumming and the uses of drumming to promote physical and psychological wellbeing.

Subsequent work by the Project has included the positive effects of drumming amongst primary school children with a range of educational needs and drumming as an intervention to super-obese children. The Project is also about to publish data on 15 professional drummers that shows that the initial findings on Clem’s performance are typical.  Darrin Mooney, drummer for Primal Scream, Matt Tong from Bloc Party, Rob Rolfe of Enter Shikari, Kevin Figueiredo, drummer with Extreme and musician Jeremy Hickey, known as R.S.A.G. have been working with the research team in physiological testing that measures heart rate, oxygen uptake and blood lactate levels in rehearsal testing and during live shows. 

More information about the CBDP can be found at www.clemburkedrummingproject.com

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