The Clarks

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The Clarks
Origin Indiana, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Alternative rock, garage rock
Years active 1986–present
Labels King Mouse (1988-1996)
MCA (1996-1997)
Razor & Tie (2000-2004)
High Wire Music (2005-2009)
Clarkhouse Entertainment (2010-present)
Website http://www.clarksonline.com/
Members Scott Blasey
Rob James
Greg Joseph
Dave Minarik

The Clarks are an American rock band from the Pittsburgh region, originating at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Over the course of twenty years, they have produced nine studio albums, two live albums, a compilation album, an EP and four solo releases, selling near a quarter of a million copies.

History[edit]

Scott Blasey, Rob James, and Dave Minarik Jr. began playing together in the early 1980s as "New Boots And Panties". Then later as "The Administration." After Greg Joseph joined in 1986, the band renamed itself "The Clarks", performing mainly at fraternity parties, the Soccer House, and The Coney Island bar, covering artists such as U2, Joe Jackson, The Del Fuegos, English Beat, and The Long Ryders. Shortly after Joseph joined, the group wrote their first original songs and took second place in a competition in Pittsburgh.[1]

The band gained popularity throughout the Western Pennsylvania region after moving to Pittsburgh and playing at colleges and bars, especially the long defunct "Graffiti". They eventually toured along the East Coast, then the Southwest and Pacific states. Performances have drawn thousands of fans across the country, and tens of thousands in Pennsylvania. The group headlined Rolling Rock Town Fair in 2005, performed at Milwaukee's Summerfest, shared performance with John Mayer, Marc Broussard, OAR, and Steely Dan, and co-headlined with Three Doors Down.[2]

The members have been recognized as distinguished alumni at IUP, where a recording studio has been named in their honor.

Music[edit]

Their first release, 1988's I'll Tell You What Man..., saw a great deal of success via the local hit "Help Me Out." The three following releases introduced "Penny on the Floor," "Cigarette" and "Mercury" sequentially—songs that were immortalized throughout the area and still receive frequent radio play today. With the release of 1996's Someday Maybe on King Mouse Records (BMI), the band furthered their fame. In 2000, The Clarks saw perhaps their greatest success, with Let It Go outselling many major national releases in the Pittsburgh area and generating three huge radio hits popularized by WDVE and WXDX (as well as rock radio stations in Johnstown, Wheeling and Youngstown, among other areas in the region): "Born Too Late," "Better Off Without You" and "Snowman." "Born Too Late" is a conversation piece, containing references to important figures of the past and present, such as Vincent van Gogh, Elvis, Mother Teresa, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, Muhammad Ali, Thomas Edison, Jimi Hendrix, Jesus, Buddha, and William Shakespeare. The title track, "Let It Go," found its way into the 2001 Warner Bros. film Summer Catch and "Better Off Without You" was regularly featured during the closing credits of The Anna Nicole Show.[3] Since then the band has continued to increase their catalog via 2002's Another Happy Ending, 2004's Fast Moving Cars, and 2009's Restless Days. In 2011 they recorded a song for Toyota called Life is all about the ride for a TV and Radio campaign bearing the same name.

Appearances[edit]

A major highlight for the band and their fans was a musical appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on August 31, 2004, and also an appearance on ESPN's Cold Pizza on June 23, 2006. On June 21, 2005, they released their first "Best Of" compilation, Between Now and Then (Retrospective). With an average of 150 live shows every year, many of which remain local, and over 250,000 local album sales, the band is still primarily a Pittsburgh regional band. They have had much success with their live act and can fill larger venues to capacity for their bigger concerts in the Pittsburgh area. On June 4, 2009, they performed their newest album, "Restless Days", on Pittsburgh's 102.5 WDVE to promote the new CD which went on sale June 9, 2009. On June 9, 2009, they performed at the Robinson Mall in Pittsburgh to promote their album courtesy of FYE and then had a signing session after their set.

On December 21, 2010, the NHL announced that The Clarks were selected to perform during the first intermission of the 2011 NHL Winter Classic to be held in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on New Year's Day 2011.[4]

Members[edit]

  • Scott Blasey - lead and background vocals, electric & acoustic guitars (1986-present)
  • Rob James - electric & acoustic guitars, background vocals (1986-present)
  • Greg Joseph - bass guitar, background vocals (1986-present)
  • Dave Minarik - drums, background vocals (1986-present)

Unofficial/touring members[edit]

  • Gary Jacob - pedal steel, acoustic guitar (2008-present)
  • Skip Sanders - keyboards (2008-present)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1988 I'll Tell You What Man... King Mouse
1991 The Clarks
1994 Love Gone Sour, Suspicion, and Bad Debt
1996 Someday Maybe MCA
2000 Let It Go Razor & Tie
2002 Another Happy Ending
2004 Fast Moving Cars
2009 Restless Days High Wire Music
2014 Feathers & Bones Clarkhouse Entertainment

Outtake albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Compilation album[edit]

EP[edit]

Videography[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

  • Don't Try This At Home, 1995 (Scott Blasey)
  • Shine, 1999 (Scott Blasey)
  • American Diary, 2006 (Greg Joseph)
  • Travelin' On, 2007 (Scott Blasey)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Clarks". IUP Magazine. Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  2. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  3. ^ "Soundtracks for the Anna Nichole Show". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  4. ^ "National Hockey League announces musical performers for 2011 NHL Winter Classic". Retrieved 21 December 2010. 

External links[edit]