After playing the Marquee Theatre on New Year’s Eve, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers are headed southbound on Mill Avenue to Yucca Tap Room. The band is taking up residence at the Tempe bar to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Refreshments’ major label debut, Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy, which featured the hit song “Banditos.” The Peacemakers are playing the album in its entirety and in sequence. Universal Records re-released the record on vinyl in November.
The Refreshments got their start at Yucca Tap in the 1990s when they were finding it difficult to get into the “hipper clubs,” according to Clyne, as an unproven band. They performed Sunday nights at the corner of Mill and Southern Avenues for over two years, and the audience steadily increased.
“[Yucca Tap] is a place pretty close to my heart because they took a chance on an unknown band and let us display our wares,” Clyne fondly recalls. “It’s been pedal to the metal ever since.”
The idea for the residency was hatched sometime last year as a way for the band to warm up for their rigorous touring schedule. Details are still being worked out, but Clyne is working on an idea to keep things interesting for the Peacemakers and the audience. He wants to find an old lottery machine with ping-pong balls and label them with the songs from the Peacemakers' seven-album catalog, along with songs from The Refreshments’ second album, The Bottle and Fresh Horses. The audience will pick a title from the machine at random and the band will play it once during the residency.
“We never play the same song twice with the exception of Fizzy Fuzzy, which will close the show,” says Clyne.
Support for the shows has been overwhelming positive, much to the surprise of Clyne. The plan was to play every Friday and Saturday night for four weeks in February, but tickets for the eight shows sold out at a brisk rate. It was recently announced that two more Sunday night shows would be added — February 21 and February 28.
While processing the unexpected demand for these shows in his mind, Clyne is still figuring out what Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy means to him two decades later.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Sticky Fingers [Rolling Stones] or The River [Bruce Springsteen],” the songwriter says self-deprecatingly. “It’s cool that I have a piece of work in the lexicon that people adore. I’m trying to get my head around that while trying to not let my head get too big about it.”
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A one-off Refreshments reunion took place at Clyne’s Circus Maximus Festival in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico in 2013. Right now what happens in Mexico stays in Mexico.
“I haven’t reached out [to the other members] about our residency at the Yucca,” says Clyne. “I don’t know if I will or won’t.” He adds that he’s considering it.