g3 - December 2003
Free monthly magazine for gay
urban women in the UK.
D E B B I E H A R
Debbie Harry from Blondie has
become an icon with her 80's classics including 'Call Me'
and 'Atomic', but recently the rocker has made a come
back with the success of her new album 'The Curse of
Blondie'. We catch up with her while she is busy covering
the UK leg of her tour, to find out how the revival is
How did you come up with the
name for your album, 'The Curse of Blondie'?
DH: "Well, the curse of
Blondie has been an ongoing refrain for us and when
anything bad happened or untoward or surprising, you say
'ah, the curse of Blondie'. I always think of it as being
funny and melodramatic and sort of tongue in cheek."
Why did it take so long to make
DH: "I think we started in
late 2000 and then actually recorded in 2001. Basically
we finished it right before 9/11 and then the album got
How does this album differ from
past Blondie records?
DH: "I think it's more
sophisticated. It's about today. I don't think that we're
trying to create a Blondie album that would just live on
our reputation from the past. We try to make a record
that was part of our thinking and lives today. I think
that we're probably all much more capable at what we do
in all aspects, so the songs are better, the performances
What is it like to be a pop and
DH: "Hmm, well, when I
first realised that I had achieved icon-hood, I don't
know, I sort of had been laying low for a while, and I
hadn't been really active in performance for a while. All
of a sudden it struck me that people were looking at me
in a different way. I guess what I figured out is if you
just last long enough and maintain some kind of decent
appearance, you're okay, you become an icon."
How has Blondie stayed together
DH: "We've been in business
together for a long time. We were successful... we're
successful again. Plus, I think that each of us was
motivated before we met, we all have individual
motivation. It's not like our motivation came from
working together. So it's a combination of having success
and being individually motivated."
Tell us about your songwriting
DH: "I think a lot of
people that write music concentrate on not listening to
other music when they're working. It's very distracting
and it sort of seeps into what you're doing. I think a
lot of us shut that door."
How did you develop such a large
DH: "well, I think that the
gay following that we've developed has a lot to do with
that icon thing and the imagery. I think if you really
check, two or three things happened simultaneously with
the advent of our success and our exposure to the public
through music, women's lib and gay rights came of age.
So, it's like you really hold onto what you come up with
and it is really part of your foundation. You always
respect that and you always feel that. So it's someplace
for you to stand and I think that that's really why we're
part of that."
What has influenced your image
DH: "I think there was a
song that we used to do called 'Platinum Blond' and it
was about all the great silver screen platinum blonds who
were always stars or starlets, and I think that they had
a tremendous effect on me. They've had a tremendous
effect on everyone. And what I reasoned was their
tremendous sexuality and the combination of their
tremendous innocence and vulnerability, which was
unbeatable. It's really what made everyone sort of melt
How do your audiences differ
throughout the world?
DH: "Audiences around the
world in this day and age are not that different. I think
the world has become so much smaller with the internet,
MTV and so much more exposure to world music, there
really isn't much difference at all."
How has it been performing new
material during your tour?
DH: "Well, it's refreshing
for us, we've done all the other material for so many
years. Most of the songs, we've taken and tried to revamp
them, and make them interesting for ourselves, as well as
to make them more contemporary. So when we bring in
something new and start to play it, it's really exciting
for us. Also, I noticed in the last three shows, the
audiences were really listening to the new material and
really playing attention it was great."
Are you looking forward to your
DH: "We're very excited
about going back to Japan and Australia. We haven't been
there in a while. We were in Australia three, four years
ago and we haven't been in Japan since 1978, so it's
quite interesting. I looked at some books for little
Japanese kids on the street, what they're wearing and
stuff and how they really go out all thematic and really
dress up and they look great, you know. I think it would
be very nice to see a lot of our European friends and
family, so to speak, fans that have been with us for
years and years, they always pop up and return. So it's
very nice to see them again."