People - 8th May 1990
AUSTRALIA'S MOST AMAZING MAGAZINE
Pages 4, 5, 6, 7
BRAZEN BLONDIE BUNGIE
DEBBIE HARRY TAKES OFF - TOPLESS AND TIED UP - FOR HER MAIDEN JUMP
BLONDE PUNK princess Debbie Harry is game for anything - including a dive off a crane more than 40m in the air.
What's more, she lived up to her reputation for outrage by doing it topless!
Harry, former lead singer for New York group Blondie, sometime movie actress and now a successful solo singer, was touring New Zealand when the opportunity came to throw caution to the wind and go bungie jumping.
The new sporting craze has the Kiwis bouncing around on the end of giant rubber bands all over the Shakey Isles.
So what's a girl to do? Hang back and be called a chicken? Or get in there with the big boys and have a go?
Well, she's not known as the wild woman of rock for nothing.
The 44-year-old singer, fresh from her Australian tour, was in Auckland to perform at the Power Station nightclub with her new band.
Someone had told her about the bungie craze and the next day she showed up on the quiet - with her band and roadcrew in tow - at Freemans Bay on the Auckland waterfront, a regular bungie-jumping venue.
Auckland's Bungie Bats club regularly uses the spot to perform death-defying leaps from a building crane over the harbor.
"She looked like she couldn't wait to get up there," said People's man on the spot.
"The crane was set at 45m, which is a high jump for anyone, let alone a novice. A guy was killed in New Zealand recently jumping from just 20m. But the Bats take every precaution to ensure there are no accidents."
Harry was hooked up to the cords and taken up on the crane platform to a giddy 45m. Then the few onlookers got a bonus they hadn't bargained for.
"One of the guys had to check Debbie out for loose jewellery for safety reasons," said our man.
"After he checked her, she said 'What the hell, this T-shirt is too loose anyway!' and threw it off.
"The crowd went wild! There was this glamorous rock star, standing on a crane over the Auckland docks wearing nothing but a pair of baggy shorts!"
Ironically only weeks before, during her Australian tour, Harry had been offered big bucks to pose topless for Australian Playboy magazine.
But despite her stunning looks and sexy image, she knocked it back.
The closest she came to baring all was her sexy onstage outfits she wore at venues such as Sydney's Enmore Theatre during the sell-out Australian tour.
Harry has a long association with Australia, where she had her first major successes with Blondie in the late '70s. Back then she got her kicks in less healthy circumstances.
The self-confessed former heroin user claimed that the best part about that tour was that "Australia had the best smack in the world!"
But sex, drugs and rock'n'roll seemed a million miles away as Harry stood on the giddy platform in the bright Auckland sunshine.
With the straps on her ankles she climbed out over the safety railing.
Watchers below saw her pause on the lip of the crane platform for a couple of second - then plunge earthwards with sickening speed.
The cord stretched taut... and sent her hurtling back skywards again.
A few bounces later and a rapturously smiling Harry was lowered back to earth. A smiling Bungie Bat quickly handed her a T-shirt then discreetly looked away.
But Harry was in no hurry to cover up - she just lay there on the safety mat with that same crazy grin on her face, savoring the thrill of her first bungie jump.
Picture captions below:
Ready, steady... go! One of rock's hottest properties goes overboard in a crazy stunt that would have given her booking agents and insurers heart attacks - if they'd known.
The sight money can't buy - Debbie hanging free after a top-tossing leap.
Boy, what a breeze! Back on the mat Debbie was in no hurry to cover up.
Harry's pals were happy their front woman lived.