Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for Debbie


Not everything from Florida is hot. I know this for a fact because Debbie Harry was the coolest new wave chicks who ever fronted a band and she was born in Miami in 1945. In her youth, however, she was raised in New Jersey. Little Deb was even a choir girl at one time. 
Post  high school, college didn't really suit her style and she headed to New York City and found herself waiting tables at Max's Kansas City. Surrounded by art and the excitement of NYC, she was drawn into the night life and music.

In 1974, Debbie and guitarist Chris Stein joined forces and it resulted in the creation of the group, Blondie. Keyboardist Jimmy Destri, bassist Nigel Harrison and drummer Clem Burke completed the original group. Though they're often labeled new wave, ska, or punk, I know for a fact that it was a staple of the Disco era, too. It's all blurred in my mind, not that I'd ever hang out in a disco (okay, I always hung out in a disco....sue me).

My first and favorite Blondie album was Parallel Lines. I loved the song Heart of Glass, but I also wore out Will Anything Happen, Picture This and Hangin' on the Telephone. Later albums produced standouts like Atomic and the one Harry song I didn't like - yet it was a hit: Rapture.

In 1983, the group broke up. Debbie would make attempts at a solo career, but never achieved the fame of Blondie. I'd see her in film from time to time.


One of my dearest runnin' buddies was Jack. Jack loved Debbie Harry; it was near obsession. In 1990, Debbie opened for Tears for Fears' tour. When we heard they would be in Pittsburgh, we snapped up a pair of tickets. Cameras were frowned upon, but that only made Jack more determined to get a picture of Debbie onstage. Finally, she sang her last song. The crowd clapped appreciatively. Jack frowned; he really expected her to do something outrageous and he'd been totally denied. 

But wait! She returned to the stage for an encore, sang her punk heart out and once again waved goodbye to the audience. Jack flopped down in his chair, dejected. 

He bent over to retrieve his stuff that he had stashed under the chair.  

"Dang it...I really expected her to do something crazy," he whined. 

Just then, she grabbed the bottom of her black dress (or shirt - who knows) and pulled it over her head and threw it into the crowd. When the audience realized what had happened, and that she was standing there in only a bra and very sheer pantyhose, they jumped to their feet and cheered. Oh my gosh, those pantyhose really needed to be opaque, I thought (shiver!). I looked at Jack. His head was down and he missed it all. 

When I fully realized he missed it, I laughed till I cried. He complained all the way home. It was priceless.

But, like I always told Jack, if she comes around again - call me...




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63 comments:

  1. Hadn't thought about Blondie in awhile. Looked her up on google images. Still looking good these days.

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    1. In some of her interviews, she looked pretty rough!

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  2. Catching up on the A to Z blog.
    A post a day is beyond me but I like your posting music.
    Ringo Starr has a new album out by the way.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. He did online interviews last week - that must be why!

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  3. Blondie, wow... did I love their music, even their primitive attempt at rap, i.e.: Rapture. I loved Deborah Harry's insane antics and incredible voice.

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    1. It seemed like they blasted it everywhere I went.

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  4. Oh.














    I'm gonna need another milkshake.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Ha ha ha ha ha ha....this is priceless.

      Chocolate, strawberry or vanilla?

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    2. One of each should be enough. ;-)

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. Preparing pre-emptively for the next disappointment. Wise.

      I do french fries and good ole' American burgers, too!

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    4. Ahh, that's good to know, because I might need more than just milkshakes to get through 'E Is For Eurythmics'.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    5. Truthfully, I wouldn't do that to you....

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  5. Wow, hangs head, didn't even know who she was, but I recognize the song

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    1. Well, there ya go...it's different for everyone.

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  6. He missed it? Really?
    And she was a model as well, wasn't she?
    I didn't like Rapture either...

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    1. Totally missed it. I still laugh about it.

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  7. Blondie...yes! Oh she's awesome! And you gotta love her hair. Even today. :P

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    1. I liked old Blondie, but I'm not sure she aged as well as I expected.

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  8. I thought she was Disco:) Only now do they talk about her being the start of New Wave and even rap (with Rapture). I thought she was great and love her songs

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    1. Thank you for saying that - I clump her in with disco, too.

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  9. That's funny you didn't like Rapture when it made my Time Machine shuffle ten last week. Agree on Atomic, though the best has to be One Way Or Another. It sure outdid it's chart peak over the years.

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    1. As nutty as I am about music, I can rarely tell you a chart position.

      My dislike of Rapture really kicks in when she starts the "Fab five Freddy..." line. Don't ask me why, I just detested it.

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  10. She looks like such a free and wild person :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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  11. She is one talented lady... you should listen to Der Einziger Weg ("The Only Way" -- Love theme from "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation"... https://youtu.be/kfjBBRAHwC8

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  12. Replies
    1. ...with a style that was all her own!

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  13. Poor Jack. I got to see Billy Idol in concert for my 16th birthday. It's still a life highlight.

    Yeah, that Rapture song was a bit hoaky. I did like the Tide is High...very beachy :)

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    1. I saw Billy Idol after he had a bad wreck and he pulled up his pants leg and showed us a terrible scar. He's lucky he has two legs.

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  14. Great story!

    My daughter really likes Blondie.

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  15. Super story and I could just see Jack sitting there dejected, missing it all! I liked Tide is High, and I had no idea she was born in 1945!! Are you sure about that? OMG, I just googled it. You are so right! She'll be 69! Wow, what a rocker. Glad you commented on my blog so I could find you so easily! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. I'm not kidding when I say I laughed all the way home. He had such a fit; I had tears rolling out of my eyes.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

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  16. Great story about the Blondie concert! Love the song Call Me from American Gigolo!

    Julie

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    1. I like how a lot of her songs have that great beat (this is why she got lumped into disco).

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  17. This is one of my favorite A-Z blogs and do you know why? It's not because you're better looking than I (you are). It's because you and I share the same musical tastes (we're from the same cultural bit of cloth. You got the attractive bit). I was a big fan of Blondie and not just because she came out as disco was starting to die (an event which I heartily cheered).

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    1. You're a sweet talker, eh? I agree - we must have been genetically linked at one time.

      Ditto on the death of Disco.

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  18. Just played the clip. What a great trip back in time. Thanks.

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    1. It's nice to take those trips sometimes. :-)

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  19. I used to blast 'Call Me' in the car on my way to college. Good times there.

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  20. The New Jersey Department of revenue used the song ONE WAY OR ANOTHER as the background to their commercials telling their citizens to pay their income taxes OR ELSE! I wonder what Debbie would have said. (And I can't stop laughing about your poor friend...)

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    1. I can't imagine her liking it - unless some $$ was involved.

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  21. I knew it was Debbie Harry! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I LOVE HEART OF GLASS! Happy Easter!

    Love,
    Janie

    P.S. Do you think I used enough exclamation marks?!!!!

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    1. I could go with a few more!!!!!!!!!!

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  22. I like the band but not Debbie Harry. I got more out of Donovon.

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    1. ...Donovon was awesome - how could you not??

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  23. I mention Blondie in my segment on rap later in the month with "Rapture," but while I was researching the blog, I actually learned she had a LOT to do with rap music. There was a whole story about her taking people to hear rap artists in New York City in the 70s. It had to do with that Fine Fab Freddy guy or whatever that she mentions in Rapture. I didn't have the chance to go deeply into the history of rap, so I didn't go into it but it was interesting to read.

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    1. I'd heard that, too...I don't know why I dislike that video so much, but it seemed a little cheesy to me.

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  24. Hello, dear Cherdo! I hope you're having a nice Easter. Yesterday was a travel day for me and I am now reporting in from my previous location. (You know the drill.) I was certain that for your "D" topic you would discuss Disco, but I am happy to share a few thoughts about Debbie Harry who, along with her band Blondie, pulled America out of the Disco doldrums (as Al P. mentioned). My favorite Blondie recording is "Heart of Glass." From the mid 70s though the late 80s I collected 12-inch vinyl dance singles and "Heart of Glass" was among them. Another ear pleasing Blondie single, "The Tide is High," was used in the soundtrack of one of my all time favorite movies, The Last Days of Disco. In the last year or two I have taken a liking to "Atomic," a single released from the album Eat To The Beat. As a solo artist, Debbie Harry released the brash and sassy "Backfired," her highest charting solo single, a track from from her 1981 solo debut album KooKoo. Let us not forget that Debbie Harry also has a long list of acting credits. Most memorably (for me) Debbie was featured in director John Waters' original movie version of Hairspray (1988).

    See you tomorrow, dear friend Cherdo! Don't forget - E is for ewww!

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    1. Are you a Waters' fan? I loved him. Have you read any of his books? My roommate used to have them and I thought they were hilarious.

      Sorry I missed this one, I'm having to scramble to keep up with the A-to-Z, but I always have Shady time!

      E is for Excellent! (Say it like Wayne and Garth).

      Take care!

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  25. I liked Blondie.

    Jean, back from the Grand Tour and visiting for the A-Z Challenge from Rantings and Ravings of an Insane Writer Number 209 on the A-Z List.

    Jean Schara
    Blackbirds First Flight (Quin)
    Blackbirds Second Flight (Glaring Upheaval and Fluffy Malone)

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  26. Oh yes, I was a Blondie fan. She even still looks good for her age. I had no idea she was up to such antics, though. And to have missed it? For shame. The kind of bands I see these days are not nearly that scandalous, but they are still fun to watch.

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    1. Scandal does add something to the mix!

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  27. I enjoyed their music. Heart of Glass always takes me back to dancing in my University days. thanks for dropping by my post.

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    1. It was great - I'll be back! Thanks!

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  28. I was always a fan of Debbie Harry and Blondie - I have Parallel Lines on LP somewhere! x

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    1. I think it was one of the best albums. Thanks for stopping by!

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  29. I had a Greatest Hits tape for Blondie back in the day. I think I wore it out.

    Call Me... I remember skating around my neighbor's empty garage (in those awful strap-on skates) to this record... among others. Good times!

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo