The Clams

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When it came to 80s indie rock one of the best places to live was the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, aka the Twin Cities. It seemed as though the center of the rock music universe was there from Husker Du…
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When it came to 80s indie rock one of the best places to live was the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, aka the Twin Cities. It seemed as though the center of the rock music universe was there from Husker Du to the Replacements, the artist who was then known as Prince, not to mention the second wave of bands such as Trip Shakespeare, the Jayhawks, and the Gear Daddies. But for all these fairly well-known aggregations there were bands like the Clams who were wonderful, rocked like all get-out, and only briefly had their day in the sun. But what a day it was.

Led by vocalist/guitarist Cindy Lawson, the Clams were a throwback band: no arty pretense, no self-conscious alternative rock posing, they liked the Stones, MC5, and the New York Dolls (they even covered the Dolls' "Human Being" on their lone record) and wore those influences on their collective sleeve. Had they recorded in the 90s they might have been called riot grrrls and gotten a little more attention, but such was not to be and the Clams were better known as contenders who never got the break they deserved. Live they were sensational, with Lawson exuding pure attitude and lead guitarist Roxie Terry (the coolest rock chick ever!) striking an alluring Joan Jett-ish pose that made her a rock goddess come to life. Maybe they weren't hip enough, maybe they were not "cutting edge" enough, who gives a rip, the Clams were local heroes, a great band that liked to powder their noses and kick some ass.