Monday, November 10, 2014


Although this post features a picture of Arizona rocker Roger Clyne, and references the recent article about him in the local New Times weekly, this is not a music post.

I have posted before about the Arizona media's need to not only find an Arizona connection to every news story, but to bolster their "street cred," like the time the local paper compared Tempe to Times Square in NYC.

I lived in the Philadelphia suburbs for my first thirty-two years, virtually in the shadow of New York City, and I do not recall that city's media ever comparing us to New York.

So why Arizona has such an inferiority complex is beyond me.

They did it again last week in the Roger Clyne article in the local entertainment rag New Times.

Roger Clyne And The Peacemakers are a regional act that has a devoted following. 

Back in the '90s, Clyne's band the Refreshments signed to a major label and scored a radio hit with "Banditos." 

His music straddles the line between Southwest mythologizing and frat-friendly party songs about drinking tequila.

The article draws several comparisons between Clyne and Bruce Springsteen, like the one I quote below:

“(Clyne) resembles both Springsteen and Buffet, especially because he's a savvy businessman whose main income in the digital era is from live shows and merchandise”

I'm not even sure I'd agree that their musical styles are all that similar similar, let’s remember that The Refreshments never charted on the top 100 singles chart and barely dented the top 100 albums  for a week (peaking at #97). And the Peacemakers, while they have made Billboard's Heatseekers chart, has never cracked the top 200.

Keep in mind that Sprinsgteen’s last release, High Hopes, was somewhat of a commercial disappointment but still charted at number one.

And Springsteen's worldwide arena tour that lasted two years and was number nine on the top-grossing concert tours of all time may not be a valid comparison to Clyne selling almost a thousand tickets in his home town.

I am not knocking Clyne, who has enjoyed a career in music for more than two decades, but the writer’s need to draw not one but three Springsteen comparisons is laughable.

More relevant comparisons would be to Pittsburgh’s Joe Grushecky, Cleveland’s Michael Stanley or Philadelphia’s Robert Hazzard, acts that flirted with national exposure but never had the breakout success. These acts also remain active (Hazzard passed away a few years ago, but both Grushecky and Stanley have recent releases and still perform), and like Clyne, are able to make a living at what they love.

But, in typical Arizona media fashion, the writer feels the need to establish some additional credibility.

To say in any context that Clyne and Springsteen share “a similar situation” is kind of silly.

All that said, don’t let the Arizona media keep you from checking out Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers-they are a great band, even if hardly anyone outside of the Grand Canyon State knows who they are.

But you may not want to drop your New York Times subscription in favor of the Arizona Republic...


  1. AIRHEADZONA has an inferiority complex and is trying to overcompensate for it? Gee, that's newz to me.

    Almost everything about this state is a joke, and Phoenix is the biggest joke in the state!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: I've heard a few Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers songs before, but they struck me as kind of bland (like Phoenix). But this one you posted here was pretty cool. Definitely had that Ennio Morricone influence goin' on.

    1. So upon hearing him, would you say he's "just like Springsteen?"

  2. You think you got it bad, try living in Fort Wayne, a small city aspiring to be Indianapolis- and with enough Dems in charge to spend like they're making it a reality.

    1. I don't know, CW-

      Arizona's state anthem is "The Simpson's" theme...

      And our state tree is a dunce cap!