Paper Mag - May 2004
DEBBIE HARRY PAINTS THE TOWN BLONDE
BY MISS GUY - PHOTOGRAPHS BY CAROLINE TOREM CRAIG
Debbie Harry and I first met back in 1990 at Squeezebox, a party at Don Hill's where I used to DJ. We became friends over the course of many long nights spent there. By that time the lead singer of Blondie had long-cemented her reputation as one of New York City' sexiest music legends. Since then, a usual night out for us in New York City involves dinner at a restaurant (we love Don Giovanni in Chelsea) or maybe a movie (I think we've seen every shit film that's hit the theaters in the past five years!). Sometimes, if we're feeling really wild, we finish off the night at Gristedes buying cereal and soymilk -- I like bran flakes, she's a granola queen. But tonight we thought we should take it easy. So we hit the East Village.
I picked up Debbie at her apartment in Chelsea, where she's lived since the late 1980s. She looked outrageous, wearing a T-shirt, black pants and a bomber jacket. Her trademark platinum-and-brown hair (showing plenty of roots) was combed up and back, and she was painted to perfection. We jumped in a cab and headed to the East Village dive Lit for a few drinks with Cher and Elton John. Just kidding! Then we popped next door to Global 33, where beautiful Billy Beyond and Jay Inkpen were in the middle of Iffy, their weekly Tuesday night party. (By the gay way, we hear that Global 33 will be closing for good soon, but luckily we still had time to party.) Sourpusses . . . I mean, glamourpusses Loretta Hog and Lauren Pine were there. Both of them were out of drag, but it didn't matter: Debbie and I had on enough makeup for five drag queens!
Debbie's drink of choice is champagne by the glass, and she stuck with that all night long. You know what they say: Never mix, never worry. Soon Paul Alexander from disco-punk-band the Ones joined us. Then Michael Cavadias (aka Lily of the Valley) and downtown-party-princess Aimee Phillips stopped by. Debbie chatted with everyone about the nightlife scene. Though she's still a fixture at all the fabulous parties around town, Ms. Harry is ready for more. "I'd like to start going out a lot," she told us, mentioning that she misses the days of nightlife events like Jackie 60 and Squeezebox. Even at 59 years old, she's still got an eye for gorgeous young guys, and yes, she's available. At one point, a young actor approached us, and we both thought he was really cute. Debbie told me, "He's mine," before they started talking. It was no contest, anyway, as he was definitely into her.
Billy was playing his usual alcohol-induced, crazy music mix, and the crowd was a mishmash of different types. But soon it just got too packed, so we decided to go to Beige at B Bar down on the Bowery. On our arrival, the hostess with the mostest, Erich Conrad, brought us to a banquette with a great view of gorgeous boys and girls dancing to superstar DJs Carlos and Alyssa.
While I was getting bombed, Debbie chitchatted with stylist extraordinaire Maripol, who gave her a signed copy of her new book Reviving Downtown. (For all you young whippersnappers, Maripol is the lady who gave Madonna her Catholic sex-bomb look back in the early
(80s.) Speaking of downtown, Beige reigned in a gaggle of downtown luminaries that night: Edwige and super-sweet Broadway star Euan Morton popped in. And Wigstock actor David Ilku stopped by, pointed to Debbie and asked if I was her mother.
We also bumped into Heatherette ringleader Richie Rich (whom I adore!); that cute-couple-about-town Macky and Drew; notorious downtown legend Taylor Mead; the always-fantastic-looking Sophia Lamar; Debbie from Avenue D; Tobel von Cartier; makeup-artist-to-the-stars Christine Bateman; and the ever-so-subtle Patrick McDonald.
Debbie seemed to be having fun watching the go-go dancers. But she had to get up to do David Letterman's show the next day -- she's busy promoting her new album The Curse of Blondie (Sanctuary) -- and she wanted to make it an early night. We wanted to go to the Cock and Don Hill's too, but there wasn't enough time. We also really meant to check out Spencer Product's new party at Happy Ending. Spencer, we hope to make it there soon, so put us on the permanent guest list, okay, hon?
Alas, when you're as busy as I am (oh, Debbie's busy too, I guess!), it's hard to do all the things you'd like during a night out on the town. We hopped in a cab and headed back to the west side. Once there, we kissed good night and ran to our apartments, because we both had to pee so bad. (You know what it's like trying to pee at Beige!) Oh -- don't forget to pick up a copy of The Curse of Blondie and catch them on tour this summer. Debbie paid me to plug that. Just kidding. Miss Guy is the lead singer of New York City's trashy glam-rock outfit the Toilet Boys.