Dr Clem Burke


Clem Burke (Honorary Doctorate of Music, aka ‘Doctor of Rock’), member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and co-founding member of the band ‘Blondie’. 


Please note: Information contained on this website relates specifically to activities undertaken by Clem as part of the CBDP.


New CBDP logo launched in 2018.


Blondie reformed in 1998 and performed a number of concerts in the UK. 


1998 Blondie promotional poster.


Marcus attended the London Lyceum show and was fascinated by Clem’s energetic drumming style. Marcus wrote a letter to Clem outlining his work with the Great Britain Olympic boxing team and asked if Clem would like to collaborate on research exploring the physiological demands of drumming. Clem and Marcus met for the first time at Wembley Arena in 1999 during Blondie’s ‘No Exit’ tour, accompanied by Marcus’s colleague Dr Tim Holder (Sport Psychologist).


No exit
1999 ‘No Exit’ Tour.


The first heart rate data of Clem playing live was captured during Blondie’s 1999 ‘No Exit‘ tour. The results were presented in Allan Metz book titled: ‘Blondie, from Punk to the Present: a Pictorial History‘ (published in 2002).


fc table
First published data showing Clem’s heart rate response to drumming during a live ‘show’.


A typical representation of Clem’s heart rate trace during a Blondie concert is shown in the figure below.


Clem Burke documentary Nov 2017
Heart rate response reflects the different energy requirements required to play each song. 


In 2004 Clem participated in a study exploring the estimated energy expenditure of drumming. Clem’s data was significantly higher than those previously reported and represents more closely the true demands of rock/pop drumming.


Clem wearing breath by breath gas analyser.


In 2008 the Clem Burke Drumming Project was launched at the University of Gloucestershire.


Launch of the CBDP in 2008.


The event became a global story with Clem appearing on BBC Breakfast time television, radio and social media. 


CBDP became a global news story.


In 2009 Clem visited the University of Chichester for the first time to talk to local business owners, University academics and local school children about the value of collaboration.


Clem’s first visit to the University of Chichester.


Clem inspiring the next generation of musicians.


In 2010 Clem was interviewed as part of a BBC Radio 4 programme titled: ‘Beat It: The World of The Modern Drummer’. Comedian Phill Jupitas provided a humorous insight into the world of a rock/pop drummer. Clem talked about his life as a drummer and research being undertaken by the CBDP.


Beat it 2
Try and catch this programme, funny and factual.

In 2011 Clem became the ‘Doctor of Rock‘ having been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Gloucestershire. This accolade was in recognition of Clem as a world class musician and his association with pioneering work exploring the science of rock/pop drumming. 


Mr Burke before the award ceremony.


Dr Burke after the award ceremony.


In 2017 Clem visited the University of Chichester again as part of a SKYARTS documentary titled: ‘Clem Burke: MY VIEW’. The programme provided a unique insight into Clem’s career as a drummer, interviewing fellow artists and members of the CBDP. 


IMG_91941 (3)
2017 visit to the University of Chichester.


Filming for SKYARTS documentary: ‘Clem Burke: MY VIEW’.


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