Blondie

Blondie in 1976Blondie was the name of the band, but the lead singer Debbie Harry was also referred to as ‘Blondie’. According to Wikipedia, the original band name was Angel and the Snake and it was renamed Blondie in 1975 when Debbie used to get passing truckers calling out ‘hey Blondie’ from their cabs, nice. It was essentially a punk rock band, incorporating disco, pop and reggae, and carving its own path without being pigeon-holed in the way that only the most outstanding bands do. They were New York cool, clever, funny and insidious. It’s not surprising the tabloids hated them.

There was much snorting in the press about Blondie as of course everyone knows that blonde women are stupid (natch) and that meant that it was not at all possible that this woman could have any talent, she was just the figurehead frontage for the band. I never bought any of this crap, quite apart from the fact that I was blonde and patently not stupid, Blondie, or Debbie, was just so amazingly fabulous and obviously intelligent. And I didn’t believe everything I read in the papers – grew out of that by the time I was six. Now that Blondie are on their 30 year anniversary tour, it kinda proves those carpers wrong, doesn’t it?

Blondie album cover Blondie album cover Blondie album cover 

My first Blondie experience was probably on Top of the Pops. I clearly remember being glued to the TV as the image of this beautiful sexy goddess, Debbie Harry, black and white and mystified, sang Denis. ‘I’m in love with you,’ she crooned, and she could have been singing to me through the TV, she really could. Her hair was like a halo with the light behind and she pouted at the camera and smirked in that way so that only really dense tablioders would not notice the irony, and she was just the epitome of punk rock, staring eyes and twisted mouth and everything. The song was terrific and half of it in French which was so cool but totally unexplained.

My favourite classic Blondie song is One Way or Another, catchy music, scary lyrics. Other hits were Heart of Glass, Atomic, The Tide is High, Hanging on the Telephone… Many of these have been tortured by other singers in recent years, but the originals remain as powerful and iconic as they always were.

Blondie in 2008 - Parallel Lines 30th Anniversary tourThrough all the ‘she’s only sexy cos she’s blonde and young’ crap, I still loved the music. But when Blondie burst back into the rock scene with Maria, there she was again sexy and goddessing and old and still amazing and I was in love all over again. If I look half as good as she does when I’m sixty then I’ll be happy.

They’re on tour now. See their official site or the Blondie MySpace page for dates.


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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