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Java.May.2017

Roger Clyne By Tom

Roger Clyne By Tom Reardon PHOTOS BY Lance Simpkins 34 JAVA MAGAZINE

So, what does it feel like to be an Arizona legend? I don’t know (laughs). I’ve only been given the mantle of that for about 30 seconds. I’ll do my very best to represent our music and our state in the most honorable fashion possible. I think your readers should be a little bit leery of somebody from rock ’n’ roll doing something honorable. Speaking of the Arizona music scene, who do you think of as legendary? I begin with Alice Cooper. That’s such a great question. I think the Meat Puppets would be in the same school, as well. “Legend” is such a difficult thing to define, for me. There are so many great musicians and artists that come from Arizona. Francine Reed has great roots, so she would qualify, in my mind and heart. You are a big fan of Mexico and Mexican culture, so what are your favorite Mexican food restaurants? In the valley, I have quite a few, but if you want something a little more modern and epicurean, I would go to Taco Guild in Phoenix. If you want something family-owned and essentially unchanged and unchanging, and the menu has been static since the ’70s, it would be Casa Reynoso in Tempe. It’s already hard to get in there. Hopefully this won’t make the line even longer. It’s totally not fancy. Roger Clyne has truly become an Arizona legend. He’s also a heckuva good interview. We chatted by phone in mid-April while Clyne was waiting to do a sound check for a gig in Eugene, Oregon, and dodging both the late afternoon rain and some early rush-hour traffic. As a member of the Refreshments, Clyne achieved national notoriety for his song “Banditos” off of the 1996 record Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy and then for penning the theme song for the animated TV show King of the Hill. While the future looked bright then, it was only a small portion of his career, and the defining moments are still coming for the talented singer/songwriter. Clyne has fronted Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers since 1999 and will release his eighth record with the Peacemakers—and tenth overall, including two with the Refreshments—on June 16. The native Arizonan and family man is in his early 50s but shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Clyne and his band spend more than half a year on the road, and there is no end in sight. In addition to making some excellent music, Clyne also puts out a pretty tasty tequila, Mexican Moonshine, which is the official tequila of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Our conversation ran the gamut, but Clyne was obliging and extremely forthcoming the entire time. I still love Restaurant Mexico. I do still love their Clare Burro. There is nothing else like it No. 6 with soup style beans. That got me through years at ASU. I used to go there all the time back when it was next to 6 East. Speaking of those days, what venues do you miss playing? Oh man, I miss the venues in general. I guess nostalgia brings back all of them. Edsel’s Attic, the Sun Club, Long Wong’s, Boston’s, even Minder Binders. Those were all really fun places to play. All of them in Tempe. If you wanted to go a little further out, it was a big adventure to play the Mason Jar, for sure. That was pretty cool. Everybody that played there should have gotten a shirt that said, “I survived…” JAVA 35 MAGAZINE

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