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Blondie star Debbie Harry on how technology has evolved performing for artists

The singer is set to return to Glastonbury at Worthy Farm in Somerset on June 25

standard.co.uk – 16th June 2023

By Naomi Clarke

Debbie Harry signs copies of her new book Face It at Waterstones Piccadilly in London. PA Images Photo. Picture date: Friday October 18, 2019. The book details her rise to fame and the often-fraught history of new wave band Blondie. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA / PA Archive

Blondie star Debbie Harry has said she does not mind how technology has changed performing, but questioned how it has emboldened people on the internet.

The singer, 77, started out playing the New York underground scene before becoming one of the biggest stars of the punk scene, working alongside artists such as The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.

Harry is set to return to Glastonbury at Worthy Farm in Somerset on June 25 for the third time after playing at Coachella earlier this year.

Asked if she minded the phones capturing every moment at the the Southern Californian desert-based music festival, she told The Times: “I’m not complaining about the way that technology has changed our way of performing — I just happen to have known something different.

“Technology is great, but I sort of wonder about everybody having an opinion.

“Everybody is entitled to an opinion, but some of them aren’t worth shit, you know?”

Harry often frequented the New York music club CBGB and said performing there without everyone documenting every movement helped her as an early artist.

“I remember performing on stage at CBGB and thinking to myself, ‘I’m really having a great time and no one’s ever going to see this except these 25 people that are here’,” she said

“It was a great way to learn to perform — I wasn’t being microscopically observed.”

Despite having to navigate the occasional debauchery of the music world of her era, she does not think that artists these days are taking it easy.

“There are always risk-takers — look at Beyonce. I don’t know if she’s been encouraged to take chances, but she takes chances,” she said.

“And she’s big enough that, you know, people are interested.”

Blondie will be performing on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury after Yusuf/Cat Stevens, who are playing the “legend” slot.

Reflecting on playing the slot, she said: “We’ve earned it. We’re still playing music and being creative and that’s the essence of it all, isn’t it?”


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