Episode 166 - Clint Conley

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Mission of Burma has been called, and we quote, "...one of the most important American rock bands of the last 20 years." That quote may be a bit dated, as now it may be 40 years, but either way, Clint Conley may find that to be hyperbole. But the fact remains that bands like The Pixies, Pearl Jam, Moby, REM, Nirvana and Throwing Muses (to name just a few) list Burma as a major influence, it is hard to argue with that moniker.

In 1979, bass player Clint Conley, along with guitarist Roger Miller, drummer Peter Prescott and the “visually unobtrusive” Martin Swope got together to create this seminal Boston band that was part of a post-punk rock scene that inspired so many. Famous for their live performance and ear piercing volume, the amazing part of the story is that they released only an EP called Signals, Calls, and Marches in 1981 which had the fantastic track Academy Fight Song that was covered by REM and then one full LP in 1982 called VS., then took a 22-year hiatus before releasing their later works.

Clint did not rest on his laurels, although he may argue that he had no laurels to rest on. He went on to get a Masters degree in broadcast journalism and ended up at Boston’s newsmagazine program Chronicle as a producer. He later formed his own band called Consonant and produced Yo La Tengo’s debut album, but lately has been focused on family, letting go of his vinyl collection, and enjoying life in the burbs.

Clint is a fantastic guy, funny, self-deprecating but very thoughtful and certainly seems very content. We had a great conversation.

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