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March 5th 2006
Magazine that came with THE SUNDAY POST newspaper
Pages 20 & 21

Straight talk

DEBBIE HARRY, lead singer with Blondie, will join her bandmates later this month for a double celebration – 30 years together and their induction to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Here, the pop icon reflects on life in the limelight.

I have had a great time so far but it is far from over. I still have new challenges and things to do. I just don’t see me settling down to be a housewife. There’s nothing wrong with that but it is just not for me.
The turning point in my life was being adopted (by Catherine and Richard Harry, when she was aged three months) and moving to New Jersey. If not I might have stayed in Florida and who knows what could have happened. Maybe I would have worked at Disneyland. That would have been fun for a while but being 60 and still part of Blondie is just great and a lot more fun.
To me they were just my mum and dad and I was very happy that way. Some people want to know where they come from and who their parents were. I have never gone down that road. The Harrys are my parents and it would be an insult to them if I started looking for other parents. They don’t deserve that and I don’t need it.
At school I liked to sing and be in dramas and that kind of thing so I always thought I would be a performer, although I wasn’t sure how.

Becoming a Playboy Bunny wasn’t exactly a career move but it gave me something to do and the chance to meet people while I was waiting for a big chance to come along.
I really started as part of a folk band called Wind In The Willows. It was OK but we didn’t set the world on fire. Good experience though, especially going into the recording studio for the first time to do a one-off album.
The more I experienced the more I knew that this was for me and I joined another band, The Stilettos. When I met my friend Chris Stein we decided to start a new group. We were called Angel and the Snakes at first but that wasn’t a good name. Since I was forever hearing ‘Hey blondie’ from passing truckers, and we couldn’t think of a better name, we became Blondie.

Our music was described as punk and it probably is, but I like to think we have our own style rather than fitting into a particular genre. We’ve written much of our own material. I like writing. It is creative and expressive.

We knew our music was good but trying to convince other people to listen to us was not so easy. Once they did, they liked us and it took off. Blondie stopped for a while but we all stayed in touch, which is why we got back together again. We just wanted to do different things and I recorded a number of solo albums which did quite well.

I wanted to be an actress as well and I wanted more time to see if I could be successful. It worked out because I did a few movies and even appeared in a show on Broadway in which I was a wrestler. That was a lot of fun, very different from walking on stage to sing to tens of thousands of people.

Doing movies was different too and another great experience – I’d like to do more of that. It is a different way of expressing yourself. The trouble is that I’m still seen as a ‘babe’ and they don’t write in parts for ‘babes’ my age. If they can’t get Meryl Streep they change the script.

Looking good is a great energiser. You cannot do gigs all over the world if you lack energy and feel as if you don’t want anyone to see you. If you look good you feel good and that’s how I like to feel. I believe in being a realist, we’re not going to look young forever so why not get help to put it off as long as possible? We wear make-up, select clothes and shoes to make us look as good as possible, so what is wrong with a little surgery to keep the wrinkles at bay?

I live in Manhattan and get involved in lots of charity events in New York and I like the scene there. I think London is a great city, I like the UK and I like the Brits. They are loyal and good fun.

The induction to the Rock & Roll Hall is just a fantastic honour. We were knocked out when we heard. When you look at all the fantastic names of music already listed, we’re joining something very special.

Life is good. I cannot complain about life so far and I’m very happy about where the future is taking me.

By Bernard Bales.

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