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Twins’ double lives: Nels & Alex Cline

March 26, 2009 |  6:27 pm

Clines300 Drummer Alex and guitarist Nels grew up as jazz hounds around L.A., yet they ended up taking parallel but divergent paths.

For a pair of identical twins, it's surprisingly easy to tell Nels and Alex Cline apart.

Dressed in a T-shirt and dark, slim-cut jeans, spiky-haired Nels Cline looks the part of distinguished "guitar god," even at 52 years old. Rolling Stone paid the angular musician the compliment in 2007 after he rose through the L.A. jazz and improvised music scene to join Wilco, a band he wryly admits many of his contemporaries have only heard of through their kids.

Drummer Alex Cline, by contrast, bears the softer edges and serenity befitting a man who has studied under Buddhist thinker Thich Nhat Hanh. Alex also has been a fixture on the L.A. scene for 30 years, but with his wire-rimmed glasses, he looks more like a professorial dad on a Saturday afternoon -- mostly because he is.

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