Bananas - 1979 - Number 30

Page 3

IN PERSON
Blondie's DEBORAH HARRY Talks to BANANAS

Talking IN PERSON to Deborah Harry, we learned a few things about her we hadn't known before. For starters, she isn't a blonde! Debbie dies her hair blonde - but only in the front. From the back, she's a brunette.
We also learned that Debbie was pleased to be on the cover of BANANAS. "I like being on the cover of magazines," she said. She proudly showed us her photo on the cover of the British edition of Cosmopolitan. "Just call me Farrah Fawcett-Harry!" She laughed.
Once, however, early in the group's career, there was a photo that really upset Debbie. "It was a poster that our first record company put out," she told us. "For years, I was trying to be taken seriously as a singer, and then for our first album, the company sent out a picture of me in a see-through blouse. I felt really bad about that."
Debbie always wanted to be a singer. As a student, she practiced singing in church and school plays. When her family moved from Miami to Hawthorne, New Jersey, Debbie began making trips to New York's Greenwich Village, looking for fun and excitement.
"One of the crowds I fell in with was a group of folksingers who called themselves Wind in the Willows," Debbie told us. "I remember one time we were cruising around in a car. They were all singing these songs of theirs, so I just started singing the harmonies. They liked it so much, they made me a member of the group!
Unfortunately, there wasn't much money in folksinging. Debbie took jobs as a beautician, secretary, Playboy bunny, and waitress. "One night I was in a small dump of a bar, singing with a group called the Stilletos. I was standing on top of a pool table, singing to about twenty customers. A guy named Chris Stein was in the audience. He was a roadie for a group called The Magic Tramps. He and I hit it off real well and we decided to form a new group."
How did they decide to call the group Blondie? "It was a street name I got from truck drivers. I'd be walking down the street and some truck driver would always be yelling out, 'Hey, Blondie!'
"In the early days, when we were first developing the group, our act was very strange. Sometimes we used six-foot-tall cartoons of monsters that I would tear into pieces as I sang. In those days, I dressed in everything from a wedding dress to a paratrooper's uniform! A lot of critics said we were the worst musicians on earth!"
By 1977, however, the group was a worldwide sensation. "We received gold records from all over the world," Debbie told us. "From everywhere but the U.S. For some reason, it just took us longer to catch on here at home." The group finally caught on here last summer with their number one single, "Heart of Glass," and their third album, Parallel Lines.
"Actually, 'Heart of Glass' was a song we used to play at the punk clubs in New York, long before we cut our first record. We were fooling around in the recording studio and decided to put a disco beat behind it. We were going to call it 'The Disco Song' because it was our first disco song, but then we decided that was kind of stupid. We got the title 'Heart of Glass' from a German movie. We did the song just for fun. It was actually an accident that it turned up on the album."
Blondie's success is obviously no accident, though. And for Deborah Harry the future is as bright as the golden blonde waves on the front of her hair!
John Holmstrom



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