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24th January 2005



At an age when some think about retirement, Deborah Harry, 59, the chiselled, sexy and eternally cool face of 1980s punk-pop outfit Blondie, is showing no signs of slowing down. Ahead of the band’s Australian tour next month, she has a blonde moment with Di Webster.

You’ve had a hectic year…
Yeah, we’ve had a great year. We’ve been all over the place playing and doing shows, and it’s been really exciting. The reception has been wonderful.

Chris Stein is touring with you this time. You must be happy about that.
Yes, we’re very happy that he’s coming with us. His daughter was born during the last tour, and he didn’t want to leave his first child. Now she’s over a year old and she’s well on her way to womanhood [laughs], so he’s back on the road.

He was your partner for many years.
Is it still comfortable touring now he has a wife and baby?
Oh, actually, yeah, because sometimes they come out and join us and it’s so nice to have this sweet little baby on the bus. She’s such a goer. She’ll be sitting back there trying not to fall asleep because she doesn’t want to miss a thing. She’s the cutest little girl.

Lots of acts tour to cash in on their former glory, but Blondie is still creating.
Could you keep doing this if you weren’t?
I wouldn’t be interested, truthfully. That, to me, would be a very short-lived experience, although when we first started playing before our record [The Curse of Blondie] came out, we did some shows that we just based on our old material. Our audiences were really great and so excited to see us, and, of course, we were very excited to be playing again. But making new music is important to me.

I saw John Lydon [aka former Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten] in a tacky reality-TV show the other night. Does that surprise you?
Johnny Lydon is a very unique character. I never know what he’s about or what he’s up to. He’s an incredible personality, really. I’ve hung out with him a few times over the years and he’s kind of astute. He has a really strong grasp of world politics as well. I don’t know why he decided to do reality TV. Maybe he thinks he can shed some light on reality [laughs].

As an icon of the punk movement, being angry about stuff was in the job description.
What makes you mad now?
Well, a lot of things. One of the things that really upsets me is inaccurate news information and censorship. Right now, we’ve got constitutional problems in the States, and I’m also very interested in ecology. I just came back from a tour of South America and the pollution down there is outrageous. What are we waiting for? How long are we going to keep driving cars that cause this kind of pollution? We fight wars over fuel. It’s just absurd, the whole thing. I can’t believe we’re not smarter than that.

You share your apartment with a few dogs. Tell me about them.
They’re nasty little bitches. No, they’re really sweet.
I just have two right now, and a large cat.

You didn’t make a lot of money in the 1980s,
but it seems a lot of women got rich emulating you…
Yes, they did – those bitches!
Sort of the same thing happened to Iggy Pop. His legacy and his reputation and his style have been copied, and he was a groundbreaker. He was so far ahead of his time that he was shocking everyone. He never really made a bundle of money, yet the people who followed after him did really well, and I just think sometimes that happens. Sometimes the people who were first don’t really make the bucks.

It seems totally ridiculous, but you’re turning 60 next year. Any plans to retire?
Oh, do you want me to?

No! It also seems all the blondes are turning brunette.
Have you thought about joining them?
Over the years I have had lots of different colours in my hair. Actually, as we speak, my hair is red. I don’t hesitate with colour. I always like fooling around.

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