RUSSH - March - April 2006
Australian Magazine

Page 92

BEAUTY ICON
Debbie Harry

She claimed to be the lovechild of Marilyn Monroe, the legendary Patti Smith supposedly told her to get the fuck out of rock'n'roll and she donned the fluffy Playboy bunny tail before rocking CBGBs and becoming the most iconic blonde of the 70s and early 80s.

Deborah Ann Harry was born in Miami, Florida in 1945 and was adopted at three months by Catherine and Richard Harry, who raised her in a quiet, suburban, New Jersey neighbourhood. Her biological mother refused to meet her, declining to hear any information about her famous daughter and her biological father was apparently a straying family man with a substantial brood of his own.
A beautiful child, Deborah was a quiet, artistic student who went on to junior college before moving to New York to pursue her dream of becoming a painter. Although the painting didn't quite work out, a stint as a Playboy Bunny helped pay the rent and allowed her to perform as a back up singer in the pop/folk group Wind in The Willows before meeting Chris Stein and forming the theatrical girl group the Stilettos. After difficulties with other female members, Debbie ditched the group to form Blondie, the band's name inspired by the number of NYC truck drivers that would shout out "Hey, blondie" as she walked by with her newly bleached two-tone hair.
Blondie initially struggled for a few years before gaining a loyal audience at the legendary CBGBs, and going on to nab no. 1s with hits like American Gigolo's Call Me. It's no mean feat that Debbie Harry was a sexy 33 in the Call Me video, dancing in her asymmetric mini shift, in clear plastic Barbie shoes, waving chiffon scarfs, like the hazy Marilyn of Bert Stern's Last Sitting.
Her long term romantic relationship with bandmate Chris Stein ended in 1983, but the group re-formed, touring and recording some decades later.
Debbie has never married and has no children of her own, but paved the way for other mega famous bottle blondes of pop/rock; Madonna, Courtney Love and Gwen Stefani.


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