BLONDIE - DEBBIE HARRY
AN INTIMATE PHOTO PORTFOLIO - 1979
A SUPERPUSS MAGAZINE - NO. 1
A DISCO Dynamite 'SPECIAL'
HOT LUST & HARD FACTS - Plus! PULL-OUT POSTER
The Roots of BLONDIE
'Heart of Glass' was infectious, didn't it make you want to move? Can't put your finger on it but it's there all right, zapping you right in the ol' spine and lovingly clawing its way up to the neck-nape like some sensual mountain climber, enticing, inviting.
Yeah, Blondie are as much Caucasian disco demagogues as the Bee Gees and Debbie is merely a pink-skinned peachy extension of Donna Summer.
But what's this Venus in Blue Jeans really like?
Okay, this mag is not about Blondie the group, it's primarily a chauvinistic profile of Deborah Harry, whom every guy would like to find between the sheets and most girls would like to be.
Now Blondie didn't make it on looks alone, though that can't have hurt any. No one today gets to the top of the charts on that alone. Just look at people like Ian Dury and all those Black groups - no way! Today, it's the quality of the music, or at least the sound appeal that counts. Remember those model girl groups like Blonde on Blonde which tried to sell on looks alone and just bombed. Anyway, Debbie is no Farah Fawcett-Majors, or Cheryl Tiegs, possessing perfect physical form with a plastic and talentless composite. No, this lady may not be as physically well-proportioned as your average page three girl, but she, unlike them, simply exudes sexuality like an isotope emits radiation.
And now she looks like putting the kissco into disco with the release of a revamped 'Heart of Glass' from the album 'Parallel Lines'. Revamped into a six minute get it on special complete with Donna Summer crooning and manly girlie chorus.
White rock journalists may tell their readers Blondie is a band, as far as the public who buy their records or concert tickets are concerned Blondie is Debbie Harry. In fact before the band even hit the airways Chrysalis had promoted the very photogenic image of Debbie into the public consciousness. That the rest of the band do not project an overtly macho rock image which would prove a sexually threatening intrusion into Debbie's on-stage territory serves to ensure that she is the central focus of attention.
Debbie is 5ft 6ins tall and weighs on average 8 stone. "I don't consciously diet, but I don't eat cakes and junk food. I tend to go for nuts, yoghurt and salads."
Brunette Debbie always wanted to be a platinum blonde. At first she tried a wig, but soon used peroxide to achieve the desired effect, and has done so ever since.
"It's been that way for the last five years. I colour my hair blonde myself. In fact it's more two-tone, I leave it brown at the back."
Her mouth is a finer version of Bardot's - a naturally sensuous pout which almost succeeds in diverting attention from her elegant cheekbones and intriguingly jaded eyes. In fact, her unmade-up face is ever more than the constantly photographed one.
"I concentrate my make-up on my eyes and mouth. My eyes are green, and I use grey, turquoise, copper and blue eye shadows. I use lip pencil and then gloss - always with a pinky sort of hue."
In conversation and mood she shifts from childlike innocence, humour, tantrums, and sweetness to street wise bitch, to smooth sophistication.
It always amazes me when people say she is cold or whatever. I always find her warm and friendly, which is pretty good considering the legions of attentive people - ranging from drooling plain-clothes division DOMs through journalists, pests (often the same thing) and other ranks of people-who-are-quite-nice-to-know-really who must inflict themselves upon her all the time. She is a bit shy with a little girl sense of humour. Oh, and forget any of that stuff about dumb blondes.
She seems as ageless as a barbie doll or Nabokov's nymphet. Her eyes cannot be easily determined for Deborah Harry is somewhat coy about her real age.
It's difficult to judge her exact age. There were times as we talked when she would suddenly look positively ancient, as though the years on the streets had suddenly ganged up around her and in one mighty effort squeezed the youth from her soul.
Then she would smile, or shield her eyes from the sun with a casual movement of a willowy hand, and she immediately resembled one of those virginal daughters that inhabit the cosy world of the American domestic TV series.
In fact she has an age hang-up. "My published age is 32," she told me as we sipped coffee in the garden of her London hotel. "I think most people lie about their age when they pass 25 and being in this business, with its great accent on youth, only makes things worse. It's so crucial that I'm marketed in the right way - but what bugs me is that the marketing men tend to forget rock'n'roll is an integral part of everyone's life now, whether they like it or not, no matter how old you are. It just doesn't matter about age any more. Writers in the rock press attack me for being too old and if I was 15 - they'd say I was too young."
Did she worry about growing old and losing her looks? Said Debbie: "Yeah sure. With a woman it has to do with the definition of femininity. I think that every woman worries about it, but it hasn't really struck me in a deep way yet."
While Debbie claims to be 33, some of her bitchier critics put her at 35. Anyway said Debbie, "I manage to remain looking young because I am mentally retarded. A lot of people think I am 22 and that really sends me. I don't look as old as I really am because of the junk and yoga. There's something about junk [heroin and stuff] that seems to kinda freeze the way you look, though it's only applicable if you've got some degree of physical fitness - which I got through yoga."
"The only reason I'm doing all this at a much older age than most people is simply because for so many years I was just so totally f----d up - this was what I always wanted to do, but I was just too much of a physical and mental wreck to get it together."
Events of her pre-Blondie group life are predictably open to gross misinterpretation and wildly sensationalised exaggeration. Living off the streets of New York for four years is open to interpretation. Some have claimed she was a hooker to sustain her drug addiction. The facts, as far as I can deduce, are as follows:
Deborah Harry, born in Miami, Florida, from where her 'middle class' parents soon moved to a New Jersey town some 20 miles from New York. Her first public singing began in the church choir, at the age of eight, for years later she dropped out of that and started dating.
"I first became aware of my sexuality when I was about 10 or 11. I think that everybody does, it's surely not extraordinary to me. I had an interesting experience when I was 11. We were on holiday in Cape Cod, and I used to go out with my cousin walking the holiday streets at night. When we left the house we used to put on lipstick, without our mother's knowing. Well, we picked up these guys, who were much older than us. They followed us back to where we lived and they said, 'Okay, we'll pick you up later and we'll go out for a drink.' At 11 that night our mothers had put us in pyjamas and told us to go to bed, when these two guys came knocking at the door. We went down and opened it and you should have seen the faces of these two guys, when they saw these two little kids there, without lipstick. It turned out that they were both very famous musicians. They gave us autographed pictures and stuff. But my parents were really shocked."
Did the young Debbie believe in kissing on her first date? "I was warned against it, but I did because I really wanted to." Were you considered fast? "I was talked about." Exactly when, and to whom Debbie first made out with has not been revealed, but her first time was definitely before she was 16.
Amazingly Debbie reckons she was "pretty ugly" as an adolescent, wearing "sensible clothes and hairstyles". But Debbie soon changed. In her later teens she dyed her long brunette hair (her natural hair colour) white and wore a lot of black, but at high school a rebel she was not. Being neither a particularly good or bad pupil - "I was just there". She was just an average cheerleeder.
After graduating high school Debbie had notions of travelling around Europe. But her parents had other plans and she was sent to finishing school for two years. "A reform school for debutantes" - that was to have directed her towards now being a settled-down housewife with a nice husband, nice house, and nice kids, for which she had been "produced and programmed".
However, having grown up with an affinity towards rock'n'roll and films like James Dean's 'Rebel Without A Cause', she wanted something more to life. "I didn't know what else to do. I had no idea of how to take care of myself. I always loved music, always will, whether performing it or not, it takes me away from myself."
During these years of false starts, odd jobs and odder still love affairs, she moved from a succession of jobs. Teaching exercises in a health spa to "flabby, unhappy women", a secretary for the BBC in New York, and even a Playboy Bunny. "I left one job, as a beautician, because the boss demanded a lot more from me than how to apply make-up." During this time she lived sometimes with her parents, but more often in New York.
Debbie in fact moved to New York with dreams of being an artist but ended up doing secretarial jobs and the like. There were of course boyfriends during this period but no lasting relationships. The Big Apple of the mid-60's was one of the centre of the emerging 'self-conscious' hippie movement. And it was in New York and especially Greenwich Village, where Debbie made what some see as her masochistic dive into the twilight world. These days were her roots and it is perhaps ironic that her later success was briefly identified with the short-lived cultural phenomenon of punk and new wave.
During an acid-dropping summer of '67 she fell in with a bunch of jazz musicians and spent nights joining in with their free-form improvisations, or noise-making. She'd scream, shout and smash the tambourine. It did, if nothing else, lead to her first 'serious' group, when she joined a bunch of spaced-out hippies. The group had a suitable enough name - 'The Wind in the Willows', which made music to match its name. One album was released featuring a dark-haired Debbie Harry on backing vocals (of course it's now a high-priced collectors' item). Said Debbie: "That was pretty awful. It was baroque folk rock. I didn't have anything to do with the music. I was just a back-up singer." The group toured, not very successfully, in the States a lot, but didn't really make it and died in '67.
"I gave up music and drifted. I trained as a beautician, and I worked on a health farm until I got the sack because one of the directors propositioned me, and I said 'No'."
It was to be another four years before Debbie became involved with music again, and these years were probably the most uncertain and traumatic of her life. It was the dawn of the Aquarius generation and the rise of flower power. With thousands dropping out to find a new kind of fulfillment. Said Debbie: It was not good sense that kept me from fully belonging, but me being so withdrawn - always the outsider - who was happy just listening to music. Besides, I saw lots of goons doing hateful things under the guise of love."
She became a groupie making it all kinds of ways with rock singers and hangers-on. In a further effort to find some kind of fulfillment she finally ended up hooked on heroin, and needed her troubles away. "I was stoned lots of the time. I used to cry and cry. I wanted to blank out my mind, and whole sections of my life."
Reports of her selling her body to raise cash for the next fix are erroneous, but of course as a groupie she did check out the occasional rock star when the fancy took her. "I have no regrets about those days. I had to get away from home. I had to experience life to the full. I guess I was lucky to come through unscathed but the whole affair has left me with an inner feeling of contentment. I made up my mind to do those things and it's all turned out worthwhile. Surely that's better than sitting in front of the TV all your life, wishing you had done the things you're watching other people doing."
One job of many during this period was as a waitress at famed New York night haunt 'Max's Kansas City'. Regular customers were weirdo artists Andy Warhol and his entourage of movie stars, transvestites and assorted freaks. "It was exciting and very picturesque. I met all the stars and served them their steaks. Most of them were so stoned they couldn't eat and still gave me five dollar tips. I'd wrap up the steaks and take them home." Highlight of the job was going with a guy I liked and getting laid in the tiny phone booth upstairs in the club."
"That old story printed about me being a hooker to get money for drugs is not true. I was more choosy than that."
During the eight months as a waitress she served steaks to the likes of such as Jane Fonda, Jimi Hendrix, and rock group Jefferson Airplane.
A much told story is how Debbie made it in the phone booth with Eric Emerson, a seminary figure on the New York rock scene (perhaps they'll erect a plaque there some day!)
However Debbie's Max's stint came to an abrupt end when she ran off to California with a millionaire - another teen fantasy fulfilled. "He was just a run-of-the-mill multi-millionaire, but it seemed like a good idea at the time."
She lasted a month of luxury in his mansion at Bel Air, California, then got fed up and hightailed back to the Big Apple.
How did you get off the 'Big H?'
"It's not something I want to talk about. Oh, you do if you want to, that's how." She was still into the Big H, still trying to block out chunks of her life. But she couldn't stand the sordid and dangerous dealings which accompany a growing habit. With the help of the Woodstock Art commune she kicked the habit. Took up other drugs instead. She still uses marijuana today.
"My parents were aware of my dreams - but now those illusions have been shattered by the revelations about my private life. When I first started getting interviewed and talked about being a junkie and a groupie - which was the truth, right? - when my Mom and Dad saw that in print it really hurt them more than anything. But it was the truth, but it really cut me to have to hurt them. I love them both. My Mother is a conservative person who runs a sweet gift store and she has told me she doesn't like reading such things. They still have to deal with the rest of the family and their friends and I guess they get embarrassed. But I know they are proud of my success in the pop business." Indeed they are often seen gleaming with pride at Debbie's New York concerts.
In '72 Debbie got caught up in the New York rock movement. She started by going to lots of New York Dolls' gigs. Hankering after a band of her own, she'd heard about a local girl trio called Pure Garbage and, after a lengthy spot of detective work trying to track them down, arrived in time to find they'd split. But one of the girls, Elda, teamed up with Debbie, another girl was enlisted and the Stilettoes were born.
"It all came out of that period. I wore flourescent crosses and all that weird shit - it sort of looked S&M too."
In '73 Eric Emmerson, the guy who got off with Debbie in Max's phone booth, took his room mate, a young guitarist named Chris Stein, to see one of his numerous 'wives', who was singing in an all-girl group - the Stilettos. One of those two vocalists was a now blonde Debbie.
Said Debbie: "One night I caught the eye of someone in the audience with a dark intense stare. He had long black hair and was wearing about four tons of jewellery. I discovered he was a musician, and one of the other Stilettos knew him, and we asked him to join our backing band. That was Chris. We fitted from the start. He was in his glitter period and I was a skinhead."
Stein was entranced by the look of her eyes across the smokey bar. Joining the Stilettos, eventually after much hassle, the other two girl members were thrown out. Stein and Harry proceded to form a new line-up. They are the only two remaining members of the line-up that produced the band's debut album and Debbie is much happier with the current line-up.
Of course throwing the other two female members out had served to thrust ldea vocalist Debbie to the front. Thus to capitalise on this, they re-named the band Blondie after the "Hey, Blondie!" that truck-drivers were constantly shouting at Debbie, whose hair was, and of course now is always, bleached. Blondie is of course also the name of a famous American domestic comic strip character.
'New Wave' was a term that covered a plethora of groups, mainly punk and pop music which shared some of its characteristics. So vague though was the term that it was applied to almost any new band in '77 and '78. Blondie was one such to receive this then automatic label, although its style is generally closer to the 50's than present day punk. Said Debbie: "We're Power Pop".
When Blondie first arrived on the UK scene they were derided as being amateurish, critics calling them 'Blandie'. Now those same critic agree that Blondie is one of the most improved groups in the fiercely competitive rock jungle.
In the autumn of '77 Chrysalis - "They were concerned for our future" - bought Blondie from Private Stock - "They didn't know how to promote us", for a reputed half a million dollars. Before the band made their first British tour in the winter of '77, Chrysalis had started hard selling Debbie. It worked.
One point of contact between British and American punk lies in the realm of conscious humour. British punk being deadly serious while Blondie and the Ramones were proponents of the exact Stateside opposite. Debbie's less than subtle innuendoes were a very 70's comment on the sexual undercurrents which had fuelled pop and disco music for years.
She projects stereotyped images of women on stage, one which encompasses the perspectives of both sexs and those in between on what 'femaleness' looks like.
Said Debbie: "Jiving words and music are basic to Blondie's style. We primarily concentrate on the music. Everything comes from that. Our stage show is really secondary. I used to hang around fags and copy their mannerisms. I learned a lot from drag queens. That's no joke."
"When I was young, I was a romantic. A Walter Mitty type who always imagined herself in other roles. This is reflected in my lyrics which are totally trans-sexual. A lot of my songs are written from the male point of view. We get dykes at our concerts - all sorts. Sure, there have been sexual responses from women and I find that just as flattering. My reaction from women is incredible. They either love me or hate me - sending letter like 'Can I have your high-heel shoes?' or loathe me - 'Get out of town or else'."
What are your own personal tastes in music?
"I am into the Ramones, some Kraftwerk stuff, Bowie, Iggy, the Runaways, Devo, the Stranglers and the Doors - old and new music. I like everything, you know. Old R'n'B stuff, some folk and ethnic music, religious music - some of that I really like. I'm definitely a romantic person. I liked Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love', it's commercial but it's good, that's the kind of stuff I want to do."
Here, just in case you wanted to know, is a brief list of Debbie's favourite things. Food: melon, nuts, fruits & salads. Sports: swimming, volley ball, tennis, golf, skating, and bicycling. Books: autobiography. Planet Earth.
"'Plastic Letters' was hard because the group felt hard at that time. 'Parallel Lines' was a better Blondie, better songs, better playing, better singing. The only thing that might not be better about it is that it's not as adventurous in terms of our original material."
"Most of the new groups in the 70's haven't lasted and I think it's because of the pressure that's put on about the new product. Groups don't last long now because of the system that's developed around the marketing of rock'n'roll, and that demand for constant newness is ingrained in the public's mind."
Back in the days before the 'Sold Out' to commercialism Debbie, concerned at the band's reference point being her, suggested that the name should be changed. There was even a vague idea to call themselves 'Hitler's Dog', because old Adolf's pet was called - yes, you guessed it.
"I'm making no pretence at being arty, it's like the word that French writer - Sartre - always uses - exitentialism. That's what we are - existential. What I want to do is purely entertain people, turn them on. Rock is a medium, not an art. It's people's tribal need to hear a throbbing beat, lose themselves in ritual and loud noises."
"I always wanted to be a singer but I never got up in front of an audience until I knew I could really sing. I didn't want to make an asshole of myself. I don't feel that I am ripping anybody off on that level. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and using something that I can use."
"We're all very apolitical. There are so many songs about heroes and our political heroes are either underground in the United States, or dead. We can't vote for anybody that we possibly want to vote for idealistically. There is nobody but the representatives of big business. There is no f-----g way you can fight it. There's just not enough hardship or depression in the United States to make enough people get on it. It's not like England or Jamaica, everybody is to f-----g comfortable there. They ain't going to fight."
"Once the FBI were tapping my phone because this left wing film director who was making a movie about who really killed President Kennedy, was coming round to my apartment to smoke dope. You could hear them listening in every time you picked up the phone. It's funny but they don't bother so much about communism here in England."
"I'm very much into psychic exploration and communication. Once in bed, Chris asked me a question and I gave him an answer in my sleep. I think we should try and develop the other senses that humans haven't developed fully, like what Uri Geller does."
"Me getting all the attention may invite the charge of cheap sensationalism, but you've got to do things like that. I'm not that much of an art freak that I'm going to say 'No. No. My art, my art.' This is the business, it's business-art so you have to use everything you've got to your advantage. It would just be foolish for us to ignore it. I've always wanted to make enough money so that when I am old and not able to work I will not have to be supported by the public. My only concern is not to be old and dilapidated and not be able to make money. I'm really a capitalist."
"This funny thing is that at one time, according to the standards of the day, when we were an art rock group everybody put us down and said we were a garage band because we were screwed up and funky. And when we got good, we got slick, we got some tight professional touches, and now people say we're not art rock, we're just commercial crap."
"There's nothing wrong with a man who is aroused because he likes your music. This sex symbol thing is a load of bullshit. In the States you see a million pictures of Frampton half naked, but nobody ever asks him what it's like to be a sex symbol. Nobody asks Travolta 'How does it feel to turn on thousands of little girls to wet their pants?' Okay, so I do have the sexy bit at the moment. But the pop business is pretty rough and manipulative so I'll go along with the image for now. It's a compliment, and I'm very flattered when it happens. After all, I did the same thing myself with guys."
"The difference in the media's attitude to a boy or girl on stage infuriates me. If a handful of men is on stage and a handful of girls is screaming at them then everything is as it should be. But if it's a girl on stage then everything is supposed to be cheap."
"Most people are okay, but some girls are afraid of me. A lot of people say 'Aren't you up-tight about all that bullshit?' - but it's just a trick of the trade. I think if you can use everything you've got then you should use it. I would like complete aesthetic control over my photographs. I want stuff to appear that is tasteful. There're all of these posters and things around me, and only one I'm getting any money from. I am not yet in a position where I can dictate, but time will tell. It's playing at chess, manipulation."
"Perhaps it has a lot to do with the way I dress. I always try to look ahead of the times and anticipate trends. I don't spend a fortune on clothes, in fact a lot were bought for very little money at thrift-stores in America. It was a habit I got into when I was young and poor and wanted to buy a lot of clothes but couldn't afford them at regular prices."
What does Debbie think about women's lib? "I think it's good. It's about time, you know. I reckon that basically, human beings, women in particular, will be a lot happier when there is a more generous approach to women. They have minds and should be able to use them - their roles should be redefined."
Well, would you ever ask a guy out? "I've never actually asked somebody outright to go out, but it's not right to make the assumption that I've never had to, you know. I had my rejections, of course. I've asked guys to go out in the past, but not in an overt direct way. I tried to be clever about it."
"To be a sex symbol is not enough, it's destroyed a lot of people's lives in the past, men as well as women. But it doesn't bother me. I have a happy private life, I manage to express myself as a person and an artist. It only really damages you if you have a lot of sexual hang-ups."
They appear to have the market and the minds that part with their muddy money well and truly sussed, staked out, cased.
But only in Britain.
See, Blondie mean very little back in their homeland. The States, most of them, don't even know of their existence. And in New York where the six are based they are little more than a cult band appealing to penny pinching pimps, poofs, closet queens, transvestites - you name it.
Well that was the impression I got when I saw them play in a club on Long Island, New York, recently.
Their dressing room, huge for such a small club (it was a converted ten-pin bowling alley and the tables are the original lanes) was full of the metropolis twilight zonies - strawberry blancmange brasses eager to lavish praise on the creamiest cult band this side of the New York Dolls, doting dykes hanging on Debbie's every word, sugary plum faries giggling and gurgling incessantly.
Rumours have persisted concerning Debbie, Chris and marriage stakes. "They are totally unfounded and probably caused at least one suicide. Sure, he's proposed but I'm just nowhere near ready."
28 year-old Chris Stein, is the son of a politically radical, artistic family. After five years together the couple say they are growing closer and closer. Blondie guitarist, artist, author and photographer (mainly of Debbie) suffered a nervous breakdown at 19.
"I have a great relationship with him now and I'm sure marriage would ruin all that, leaving at least one of us unhappy. Besides, I kinda feel sorry for the man in a married situation. For a woman it's merely a business proposition and since I already have a career I don't need it. A wife has to help her husband's career which limits both his and her chances of doing something stimulating with their lives."
Would you like to get married and have kids? "I've been asked that question so many times. Yeah, maybe, but I am against marriage as an institution."
Chris Stein and Debbie Harry's friends are mostly to be found amongst New York's avant-garde artistic, or once termed 'underground', community of painters, designers, actors and writers.
She and all members of the band earn $250 a week each before earnings from their records. 'Heart of Glass' should net the group some £40,000 in royalties. HOwever like many other bands Blondie is still far from rich. There were plenty of advances from Chrysalis to be paid back.
The title though not the words to 'Heart of Glass' are derived from an obscure European art movie.
Late '79 may see her emergence as a screen goddess. Not surprisingly Debbie has received film offers. However in the words of her UK publicist, "The film she is planning is not the best commercial choice." It is a remake of the avant-garde sci-fi detective film 'Alphaville'. The original somewhat odd movie was first made by French 'new-wave' (in the movie sense, and there is little in his films) Jean-Luc Godard back in '66.
Chris Stein will apparently be collaborating on the new version with New York avant-garde film maker Amos Poe. This surreal 'existentialist' movie is planned to have Debbie playing the part of Natasha von Braun, daughter of an evil scientist. The movie would co-star ex-King Crimson stalwart as Lemmy Caution, private eye opponent of Debbie. The original though set in a future city ruled by an electronic brain was filmed in contemporary Paris, and the remake will likewise be in contemporary New York. While the soundtrack will apparently be by Stein, Harry and Fripp, there are no plans for Blondie either to appear in the picture or perform the music.
Debbie's involvement in this somewhat pretentious movie is probably at the behest of Chris Stein. However, at the time of writing all is very tentative. Said the band publicist Alan Edwards: "There's certainly no date set for filming, and while there seems to be no problem with finance, there is not likely to be anything for quite a while."
On their recent Stateside tour Blondie appeared on a live TV show, on one of New York's local stations. Said Debbie: "There is no New Wave band that is big in America. Like the Ramones are bottom of the list of the top 10 bands. But we're going to nake it big here yet."
In April '79 Blondie headlined a series of concerts in Britain. The band prefer playing theatres, like the Hammersmith Odeon, rather than venture into large arenas like Wembley or Earl's Court. This return to Britain was followed by another European tour.
As this feature was written preliminary work was being completed on Blondie's fourth album 'Eat To The Beat', which features a number of disco orientated tracks. Meantime other film offers for Debbie Harry, much bigger and more commercial than 'Alphaville', are coming.
As Natasha Von Braun might say - "Tomorrow the world..."
[Picture caption: Deborah Harry in a pre-publicity shot for the proposed 'Alphavill' movie.]
Debbie Harry interviews incorporated into this feature were by Barry Cain and Kris Needs. Some of the material used here originally appeared in ZigZag magazine and is used here with permission.
BLONDIE'S DEBUT album was like finding a box of uppers at one of those booze 'n' downer parties so popular a few years ago. It smelt of surf, semen and sand, tasted of sugar but kicked like a mule on sulphate. It was pure fun pop with a distinct 'B' movie American tack rating unseen since the second Dolls album. These guys could play, tunes to make you sit in the lampshade or swoon sighing to the floor, and it was all topped with the melt-in-your-mouth cream-bitch croon of Debbie Harry, who was responsible for most of the attention the group had then with her blonde bombshell-of-many-disguises looks. The most photogenic and photographed face since David Bowie.
The group like Europe and Japan, loved Bangkok. Apparently the only Artificial Stimulant you can get Down Under is Fosters lager or the Big H, oh and some very weak weed. Apparently a high number of the Bruce's plump for the latter.
Thailand was a different toke (for different folks) with head-blowing Thai sticks retailing at a mere 5p each.
The Blondies did a gig at Bangkok, which must rank as the strangest they have ever done. Clem: "They'd never seen a rock group before. Whole families came to see - old men in turbans with babies in their arms! They seemed to like it though."
At this point I'd better explain the personnel shuffle, which happened just before the album was done. The previous bass player, Gary Valentine, left the group for a number of reasons, including the standard "musical differences", but there were personal reasons too. I hear he's getting a new band together.
With Blondie stuck for a bassist they got in Frank Infante for the album sessions. He plays guitar too and when shortly afterwards Nigel Harrison came in as fulltime bass player, Frank stayed on, fleshing out the sound on second guitar.
Another upheaval for the group was their move from Private Stock to Chrysalis, the latter paying several hundred grand for them. Hence the delay in release of "Plastic Letters".
Still the wait was worth it. It was a devastating album, racey fun pop like only the Blondies can do it. Thirteen tracks, several of them killers, and a true progression from the excellent first album. Richard Gottehrer produced again but this time the sound is bigger and better... and mixing only took two days.
Although the album is basically Blondie's very special tacky-teen bop they go for a lot of styles - rockers (the charging "Detroit 442", about Iggy, and "Youth Nabbed By Sniper"); ballads (the stately "No Imagination"), big beat wall-of-sound whammer-jammers ("Denis", the single, which sounds like Peggy Sue meets the Ronettes and should be MONSTROUS) and even boogie-woogie ("Kidnapper").
And there's enough hooks on this album to fill a whole cloakroom. Sure they're more of a group now, touring's got 'em tighter and they've matured so they can control their explosions. Debbie sounds more confident too.
When Gary Valentine left Blondie he sure was kind in his will 'cos his sole offering "(I Am Always) Touched by Your Presence Dear" turns out to be one of the best songs on the album. Multi-tracked Debbie is still with her dead lover - "I am always in touch with your presence dear". Her heart-melting voice and the surging Spectorama backing lifts this off the turntable and into your heart forever. (Aah!) "Love at the Pier" is the Blondie Sound never better, blood brother to "In the Sun" riding on a high-kicking Beach Boys roller coaster, Debbie soaring over the top.
"Cautious Lip" is sultry and steamy, "I Didn't Have the Nerve to Say No", "Contact in Red Square", "I'm on E", "Fam Mail" and calm-before-storm atmospheric "Bermuda Triangle Blues (Flight 45)" (sad and mysterious)... all these are great songs. This is a great album... your move.
"Parallel Lines" is the title and there's twelve tracks. Maybe Blondies have more fun but there's few groups I have more fun with than Blondie.
So the first album was a classic combination of surf, teenage sex and giant ants abounding in instant melodies and zestful playing. It's follow-up, "Plastic Letters", a refinement on those themes but in Spector-fied sound and high-speed pyrotechnicking. "Parallel Lines" - the spirit of Blondie is alive and well and producing human Abba/Donna killers, contagious high school hoppers and their usual brand of heady heart-napalm.
This time they score more on the songs, which nod more and more to the great NYC girl groups of the '60s and the aforementioned Euro-pop.
Being in love with Abba's classics ("Dancing Queen", "Knowing Me", "SOS" - Blondie could do an INCREDIBLE "SOS") and "I Feel Love" style Donna, it's also great to hear Blondie, tailor-made to do killer justice to this stuff with Debbie's voice and the band's expansive electro-pop sound, tackle such gems as their own "Heart of Glass" and "Pretty Baby" so successfully. The latter is Abba with raunch, so-o-o danceable and Debbie in her element. When the pounding dugga dugga disco beat of "Heart of Glass" crashed in I fainted, recovering in seconds to shiver and smile as Debbie glides in over the top with a creamy croon about the disillusionment of love. "Soon found out it's a pain in the ass." It's all here to make this song the disco hit of the year. As a single I'm sure it'd smash Oliver Travolta's eight-week record.
"Sunday Girl" is delicate and delectable but the rasp and bite comes back when they launch into the D. Harry/N. Harrison composition, "One Way or Another". Debbie's still a horny high school cheerleader or in-the-flesh satin doll but her ever-increasing maturity and style sometimes brings to mind a female Jim Morrison. On "11.59" (sadly) Jimmy Destri's only song on the album.
That "Fade Away" is probably the most adventurous track. Funereal, ethereal and for real, crowned with Bob Fripp's spiralling guitar. Last album the band was in transition and its new recruits Nigel Harrison (bass) and Frank Infante (guitar) were settling in. They've been with this one from the start and as a result the band seem to be much more sensitive and sympathetic. Knowing what counts. Frank even gets to sing on his own studio-spontaneous track, the smokey "I Know But I Don't Know".
There's two songs by an unknown Californian songwriter Blondie discovered called Jack Lee: - "Hanging on the Telephone" and "Will Anything Happen". Both are memorable, the former made-to-measure Blondie, the latter swooping between relentless overdrive Batman-theme riffing and a strong chorus.
"Picture This" you should know as it's the 45. It's USA counterpart'll be "I'm Gonna Love You Too", the only non-original on the LP (apparently Ray Manzarek was well pissed-off that the band once again ain't gonna include their great version of the Doors' "Moonlight Drive"). This one is a bouncy treatment of a Buddy Holly song. The album ends with Debbie in "Rip Her to Shreds" mood on "Just Go Away". She co-wrote four tracks on the album but this one's all hers. "If you talk much louder you can get an award from the Federal Communications Board," she cajoles. Poor bloke!
"Parallel Lines" tells me again how great Blondie are and will be EVEN MORE!
On the road with BLONDIE
IT'S JUST yards between the stage door and the coach but feels much more as the waiting hordes grab, shout and thrust bit of paper at anyone who looks remotely to do with Blondie.
Get yer paws off me Heartbreakers sticker!
A hand which must belong to a very tall bloke arches over the head of a bouncer and deftly whips the baseball cap off Debbie Harry's head. The culprit swallows himself up in the crowd never to be seen again.
The grab-gauntlet ran and everyone's on the coach. Debbie's pissed off about her hat cos it had her Jilted John badge on it.
Final checks and... who the hell's this? Sitting cool, calm and collected like it was the last but home are two "hitch-hikers" no one stopped for. Smartarses! No shoving in vain for them, they quietly sneaked on the coach, probably said they were with the group.
Once the stowaways have been safely escorted off the coach by tour manager Mr Paul Weston the coach gets under way for the three-minute drive back to the hotel. The throng bangs the sides of the coach and tries to open the door. All the time it's "BLONDIEEEE!!!!!" and "DEBBIEEEE!!!!!" Predictably the fitter fans race the coach back to the hotel.
Is it like this every night?
"Oh, last night was much worse!"
Eat your heart out, John Travolta!
Blondie on tour, autumn '78. The story's been the same wherever they've played... and I'm here to see it happen in Manchester and Birmingham.
In a room in a hotel in the middle of Manchester, Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Frank Infante, Nigel Harrison, Clem Burke and Jimmy Destri are watching themselves on "Top of the Pops", all dressed up and ready to go.
An hour later the same six are sitting in a dressing room at Manchester Free Trade Hall, still ready, still waiting, always waiting for that 90 minutes that starts around nine.
In every city the kids have had their tickets for weeks. Debbie smiles or sulks on a thousand lapels every night. Manchester is solid Blondie-crazed. As expectations rise in tense waves out-front the group tune up and wind up, ready to get down to the serious business. The reason for it all. Debbie clowns around and laughs like she always does before a gig. She seems to start the day quiet and withdrawn, gradually loosening up as the minutes tick by to gig-time. When she walks on she radiates.
Actually, the band go on first and start knocking out that bleedin' cinema-intermission-standard - I - cant - for - the - life - of - me - remember - the - name - of. Then Debbie walks on, yells "SURF'S UP!" and we're "In the Sun". Blast-off.
The crowd tonight is up from the start, unlike the previous Blondie show I'd seen at cool Hammersmith - bouncer-country. The pattern seems to be initial excitement at The Presence which gives way to pure, unbridled ecstasy as the lengthy set builds to its euphoric climax.
"X Offender", "Detroit 442", "Hanging on the Telephone", "Fan Mail", "Picture This", "Presence Dear" ... they're fired off in quick succession like bullets from a six-barrelled machine-gun, the Blondie Blend of pop, rock, technique, screams and sensitivity wrapped in crackling energy, which is stoked by the rapid stagefront rabble climbing on shoulders and waving posters.
"Sunday Girl", "11.59" (melt!), "I'm Gonna Love You Too" ... I don't believe in sitting out gigs to make notes so I might have got the order wrong, but about two-thirds through, after an extended clapalong "Denis" has predictably brought the hall a few light years nearer terminal orbit, the lights go out. Every time they think it's the end ... but as Bob Marley said, it's only the BEGINNING!
Seconds later, with the light still down, Clem and Jimmy start the cliff-hanging doom-intro to "Fade Away (and Radiate)", the most daring and moving track on "Parallel Lines". Debbie's back in long gown and mirror shades. Light and sound build and as Debbie hits the "beams become my dreams" chorus a bolt of pure white light hits her head on and the mirrors in her hands and on her coat send shafts of light back into the wide eyes out front. Stunning.
(It's normally about this number that I get carried away, standing there swaying unsteadily, oblivious to anything else, with what must be the stupidest grin on me boat ... but what a band!)
That dramatic highlight over and Debbie drops the gown, ready for the last breath-taking lap, a closing assault of stuff like "Pretty Baby", "Sniper", "I'm on E", "I Know but I Don't Know", "One Way or Another", "A Shark in Jets Clothing" (where the band gets introduced), "Kung Fu Girls" ...
The band is an unstoppable flying saucer blast of savage rhythm, propelled by the mighty Clem Burke, whose head-shaking drum acrobatics and deadly technique leave little doubt as to who's the bloke for Moon's crown.
By now the first stage invaders are coming, a determined breed who suddenly appear next to Debbie and, depending on the quickness of defending roadies, snatch a kiss, raise their arms in triumph and jump back into the melée. Debbie touches some of the outstretched hands. She knows what to do and when to do it, bubbling cool, remote control pillow-fight aggression. It's been said before, but Bowie does spring to mind...
Tonight's encores: "Rip Her to Shreds", "Return of the Giant Ants" (when ant-man Eddie Duggan should leap on and scare Debbie but he couldn't get his ant-head on tonight!), "Get It On" - Bolan's classic alive and slinky - and the Dolls' "Jet Boy". What a way to go!
(Bugger! No "In the Flesh", I just realised!)
Afterwards a gig dissection goes on for quite a long time in the dressing room. Manchester isn't considered one of the best 'cos there were (apparently) a few goofs and some gear went wrong. Oh... well, me and the other three thousand liked it anyway.
Night-clubbing, we're night-clubbing... Well, Clem, Jimmy and me are, everyone else turns in after a swiftie in the hotel bar. Clem wants to go to the downtown Russell Club to check the Yachts 'cos he's got their Stiff single (and likes it too).
The Russell is a black club all week, rock on Thursdays. It's oval with a late bar and seems to attract much of Manchester's near-legendary rock community. Hey, ain't that Gordon the Moron over there - the lanky pissed geezer swaying about like a stork in a hurricane? This bloke must be a Smirk 'cos he gave me a badge with "Smirks Against Travolta" on it. He's pissed too.
The Yachts are on, tooting out their diligent fresh-faced blue wave '60s-style punk to the small crowd. The reedy Farfisa makes 'em sound a bit like a Debbieless early Blondie might have. Jimmy Destri is delighted - "He's got exactly the same model I have!"
The Yachts finish, the club closes but the night is still young. "We know a place," say the Mancunians. So off we go to another bar, another planet for all I know 'cos after this it gets h-a-z-y... I recall Gordon the Moron pouring out his anguish at the bogus Gordon and Julie shoving out a quick cash-in follow-up to "Jilted John" on the Pogo label. He's the one who's "so upset" now, 'cos JJ's always got his mice. The Blondie pair and the Moron get on great, "Jilted John" being a current band fave.
About four o'clock: Zzzzzzz...
Next morning in the foyer of the Portland Hotel: last night's adventures are easy to spot by their white faces and sorta world-weary stance. How Clem and Jimmy can rudely abuse their stomach AGAIN just an hour later when we stop off at a motorway café is beyond me!
Another hour later Birmingham rears up and Other-Tour-Manager Chris Gabrin turns off the cassette player which has blasted the Banshees (another group fave), Dave Edmunds and Vice Creems (hee Hee) since Manchester. There's a radio interview to be done for BRMB and another sound check, so I wander off to Remington's Rare Records with tour DJ Andy Dunkley - he's done all the UK ones 'cos he loves Blondie and they love him - and can't believe my luck when I turn up "The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles" and the new Donna Summer.
By the time I get back to the hall the soundcheck is winding up. Oh, oh, looks like a Blondie Argument is under way. These often seem to happen at soundchecks, and sometimes during the gig itself too. Much is made of this but these things happen, right, and it's better than bottling it up. And it's funny with Blondie but an hour or two later it's like it never happened (on the surface?).
Mind you, it's a downright drag for those not directly involved. You feel a real spare one pretending to be engrossed in kicking walls in the corner.
Debbie's been given a yellow T-shirt with an ape on it by one of the autograph-hunters outside so tonight the colour is yellow - I am curious yellow. Yellow socks, yellow tights, yellow mini, yellow sweatshirt, yellow T-shirt, yellow hair, see-through shoes (fooled ya!). You don't only look good in blue...
Blondie thrive on crowd craziness. It'll prompt Clem Burke to walk straight through his kit and fling his snare into the throng. It'll whip Debbie into a high-kicking, wailing dervish. It'll crank Frank and Nigel into the guitar-bass overdrive which squirts excitement all over the stage and'll get Jimmy Destri embracing his speakers before zooming from his Farfisa. It'll bring out the beast in Chris Stein who'll brave and even enjoy the gob-rain and hit back with more guitar-power than ever.
Birmingham was like that. But it sure didn't look like it at the beginning.
D'ya know what they got in the foyer of Birmingham Odeon? Signs which tell you in no uncertain terms that the show could be STOPPED if you stand up (and ENJOY) the group you've paid to come and see. A line of large-size white jackets and thick-necked bow-ties like the walls to show business is meant.
Nobody told Blondie about the rules 'til after the show. Small wonder they thought they weren't cutting it with the crowd when they were still sitting gawping like they were watching "Star Wars" towards encore time.
Walking out front, I could see they were straining at the leash. One word, one sign, one chance, A LEADER was all they wanted and needed. A "come on!" from Frank Infante during "Youth Nabbed as Sniper" was it, The Moment. The whole place rose as a person and rushed to the front. It was so sudden the bow ties were helpless. Stop the show now? Try it!
The area in front of the stage, second earlier a no-man's-land void, was now a seething mass of out-stretched hands and upturned faces.
"That's better," said Debbie Harry.
The rush propelled band and crowd through the rest of the set, BLONDIE chants and encores of "Shreds", "Return of the Giant Ants" (this time WITH ant attack!) and "Get It On", band and crowd going mad.
Afterwards, what a contrast to last night. Everyone's UP, relieved that they weren't the cause of the half-full of seat-bound arses. And they got through with handicaps too: Debbie's voice was in danger thorughout ("I just had to maintain control"), Nigel had hit himself over the eye with his guitar (and that HURTS) and Jimmy - remember the night before?!
Chris: "This gig tonight was really weird, you saw what happened. The audience was sitting down through the whole first half of the set and we didn't know it was because of the security. Everybody said that it kept running through their minds that they'd read the press and thought we stunk!
"There was such a rush when everybody ran up to the front, it was like doing three gigs at once. Really amazing."
Debbie adds: "It surprised us 'cos we didn't think they were getting off on it. It was really weird. Scarey."
The hall is gonna be used again tonight for the Ali-Spinks fight. Mr Security clears 99 per cent of all fans from the hall in half the time - and the remaining one is soon dealt with.
Resisting the temptation to stay and watch the fight - the group are all staunch Ali supporters, to the extent of starting up an Ali chant during "Denis" - it's everybody-on-the-coach time.
Outside we are stunned by what greets our peepers. It must be half the population of Birmingham waiting up the top of the road-blocked Odeon access-street.
Police watch grimly as the coach parts the fans like the Red Sea. Debbie goes to the coach door and lobs out the bouquet she was given earlier. Instant rugby scrums scuffle for petals. More waves, bye bye Birmingham, 'til next time...
From here on things get a little crazy...
S'funny, ZigZag hasn't carried an actual interview with Blondie since June '77. Sure, there've been photo-spreads, "on-the-road" reviews, the lot since. But no words of wisdom from the group's north and south. And I think you'll agree a couple of things have happened to them since June '77! Right, this time we'd do the in-depth Blondie interview which I've yet to read.
Well, t'was not to be. You know how it is... a hectic on-the-road schedule ain't the best place to get anyone in an "in-depth" frame of mind. Though we had plenty of chats, I was loathe to whip out the old machine for fear of looking like the "Daily Express".
So I was quite relieved when on the coach-ride back to London, Chris Stein, always glad of a chance to talk, suggested I turn on my cassette. So I did, and amidst all the silliness, drunkeness and debauchery attempted an interview, participants being Chris, Clem and occasionally Debbie (and Eddie Duggan the ant-man). So, not exactly the Blondie probe I'd envisaged but there were some good points...
How to get Instant Reaction from a Blondie: mention the Music Press.
Chris Stein: We LOVE the Music Press! Actually, I think the English Music Press is really good because at its worst it kicks you in the arse and tries to get you to work harder, so it's good, it's really good. I enjoy it, even when they put you down. It's like getting spat on - tonight when they were gobbing on me and shit I was really getting into it for the first time! When I went up on stage for the encore and they started spitting I was really enjoying it, which is strange. I've never enjoyed it before. The Press is like that too.
Debbie Harry: On the whole the English Press has been very good to us, the Music Press. The legitimate Press is another matter. Straight people. They're kind of strange. I mean, it's sort of exciting to actually get into the equivalent of the "Daily News" or "The Enquirer". But the Music Press has been really good to us, even though some of them are c---! F-----g C---s!
Chris: The Music Press is good but you get so wrapped up in it [Like chips! - Ed.] you start thinking it's for real, but it's all just a f-----g big cosmic joke and they know it. But when you get here and everybody starts reading the papers every day. In America no one knocks themself out to get the papers.
Debbie: In 1973 I went crazy trying to get "Melody Maker" one time. I was in it with the Stilettos...
So you don't get pissed off so much now when you're slagged off?
Chris: If it's stupid or inaccurate I get pissed off. People who write stupid or inaccurate stuff don't even know it's stupid or inaccurate anyway.
Clem: All this stuff for me is like, I'm totally living out my ideal. My Utopia is THIS, believe it or not. All my dreams come true is actually all this so it really makes me feel good to see people writing reviews about us, to actually say, "Well, the drummer played off beat there," or "Debbie's hair was out of place that night." That makes me feel so great that they actually take notice. It really makes me feel that we've achieved something if they can actually take the time out to write about this and that. All the fans are great, the fans are really good.
Chris: Debbie gets slagged off just because she's a f---ing idol and people look up to her. That's why she gets slagged off 'cos they have to tear her down 'cos it's like obligatory, you know.
Don't affect you at all though, does it?
Chris: I don't think the English Press is gonna affect what happens to Blondie one way or the other, except for the fact that they affect the fans. Lenny Kaye said the English Press had affected Television and were instrumental in their breakup. I certainly don't think they could have that much effect on us. It's constructive, because I think we have to go into a different direction from just being a plain old pop band myself, and I think people telling you that is good.
Clem: We're more than just a plain old pop band. I think we have more idea what we're doing.
Chris: The next album is gonna be different anyway. I think we should do two albums next.
Clem: Yeah! Chris had this idea of putting out two albums at once. One more experimental and the other a regular song album.
Chris: I wanna do an album with a central theme, like "Ziggy Stardust" or "Tommy".
(I better point out that this wasn't exactly your normal Interview Situation... about every two minutes some drunkard would lurch past - usually the Ant Man, who'd by now aquired a bottle of whisky which he decided to drink in pints! He was last seen when dropped off in Hendon, pissing into a hedge. For all we know, he nodded out and woke next morning in the same position!)
Suddenly, a new turn to the conversation!
Clem: If I ever get rich I'm gonna get a room that's totally padded. I'll be able to get out of it when I want to and it won't be like a padded cell but a padded room, all white with big pads and maybe a big punching bag hanging down in the middle.
Alright, if Blondie become millionaires how'll you blow it?
Clem: We'd all get cars for a start! I'd also like to buy my father a horse. Me and Jimmy are gonna buy our dads horses if we ever have any money.
Debbie: I was gonna buy my sister a horse too. I was going to get her one of those ponies, a hairy pony.
Chris: One of my main goals is to finance a trip to the Western Australia desert to record the Aborigines on a 16-track mobile unit. If we get a lot of money I will definitely finance that expedition.
Clem: We'd have to break the States before we make any money though. We haven't really played much in the States, only about four weeks' total.
Debbie: It took the Stones two years of touring to break the States. We haven't really done a tour yet.
Clem: We supported the Kinks. It was great touring with them, we were going down good, getting encores. And it was great meeting Ray Davies. He wanted to put Debbie in a movie. Remember the Preservation albums? He wants to make a film of that and he wants Debbie to be in it. But I don't know if it'll happen...
Chris (sudden flash of inspiration): If I get a lot of money I'm gonna have my brain put in a bottle and I'm gonna have it hooked up to a guitar. I'll just have to think the guitar parts and I WILL BE IMMORTAL! The roadies can move me from gig to gig, I'll have my body motorised and that'll stand on stage and jerk around. The whole group can do that. Clem can be throwing the drums in the audience...
(Just what was in that pipe, Chris?)
Clem: I think by the time I've got a lot of money I'll have to spend it on getting new blood. I'll need it! It's expensive though...
Debbie: It's only two thousand dollars!
Clem: That's one of the best ideas I've ever heard.
Chris: He should get a new brain put in too!
Debbie: Olympic athletes have their blood put in a private blood bank and before a big event they shoot up their own blood and get a huge f-----g rush from it.
Chris: I heard if you shoot up a schizophrenic's blood you go on a trip.
Ah! The infinite pleasures of Watford Gap services! The toilet beckons so we stop and I run off ... little knowing the foul deeds being perpetrated in my absence. I don't find out 'til I'm transcribing next day but a certain Mr Stein and Miss Harry thought it'd be a terrific wheeze to sabotage my cassette recorder while I was out pointing Percy. So it is I found such gems as...
"Hey Debbie, don't you think Kris Needs is a stupid wanker?"
"Well, I don't know, I haven't seen him with his pants off, but actually I'm really curious to see."
"Bitch! Take that!" (Bash! Thump!)
"As a matter of fact I am curious yellow."
There's Chris Stein's concise thoughts on the Music Press, a hell of a lot muffled whistling and a lengthy and detailed description by Debbie of the man peeling and eating a banana - "He stuffs it all in his mouth like a monkey."
Think that's funny do ya? Wait till I bring out the bootleg!
Anyway, everybody back on the coach and sane conversation becomes harder and harder. About the only other Fact I can glean is that the group'd like to do a tour of Britain where they play more gigs all over the place - "if we did enough dates we could play smaller halls." But that's about it. Fights are breaking out in by-now-pissed-stupid Ant Man's corner, Indian wrestling, weird fantasies, Debbie yelling out different English drinks and to top it all a mass sing-song of not "Blitzkreig Bop" or any other Old Standard but bleedin' "Loch Lomond"! Picture this: New York's premier pop stars all shrieking the "I'll be in Scotland afore ye" refrain in their version of Andy Stewart accents! (Still, I had to join in too!)
Um... that was it really.
"There are all of these posters out, and there's only one of them that I get money from."
This picture is available as the poster, the one that Debbie collects on. With authentic autograph the poster is 24" x 30". Now you can take her into your bedroom and pin Debbie to the wall.
Just £1.00 inc p&p. Specify poster 'B'. All cheques & POs to Phoenix, 118 Talbot Road, London W11.
BLONDIE'S DEBBIE HARRY: AN INTIMATE PHOTO PORTFOLIO is published by Danacell Ltd, 66 Uxbridge Road, London W7.
Distributed by Walton Press Sales Ltd, 174 Culford Road, London N1. Printed by Dillcourt Ltd. Entire contents copyright 1979.
Poster photo: Chris Stein.
Editorial concept: David-Richard Brown.
A word about our cover: you see in case you didn't immediately spot it the log-like object is supposed to be a chocolate flake. Unfortunately the image didn't work out quite as well as the original concept, and in the present industrial dispute we had to print before the paper stocks were exhausted, and we had time to redesign the cover. Oh well, we should have stuck with the microphone as our printer said: "You can't get more phallic than that."
Well, we did at least avoid putting a cover line "Reaches the parts other poster-mags cannot reach."