thelondonpaper - Monday 28th July 2008
The Blondie singer on her wild days, tips for Winehouse, and turning down a marriage proposal from Anthony Kiedis.
You've been going a long time. Any vices left?
Ha ha, I don't know what you mean. I guess I'm not as full throttle as I once was, but I still manage to squeeze out a night or two here and there.
What do you think of your younger, wilder self?
I did waste a lot of time, but I can't live my life in regrets. I'm one of the lucky ones - I managed to live through it. I lost a lot of friends along the way, mostly through drugs - people I would dearly love to have around. My recommendation is don't kill yourself if you can help it.
Any advice for Amy Winehouse?
We're all very aware of Amy. A lot of times, you get into the position of being so popular, exposed and in demand, and you don't have anyone to talk to. At times, I really, really, really wanted someone to talk to and not be afraid they would run with anything I said to the press. If she needs to have a confidante, I would recommend finding a professional person and a good person who is really equipped.
How long can Blondie go on for?
I don't know. Are you trying to tell me something?
Aren't you knackered?
No. I love doing the shows and I think I'm better at it now than I ever was. I might be deluding myself, but there you go. I would say I'm a better singer and performer these days. I certainly enjoy it more.
Do you have to pinch yourself that you're still performing after 30 years?
Sometimes. I feel very privileged and lucky that I'm still involved with music on a daily basis.
Any new stuff planned?
I have a couple of solo things on the internet. One is called Fit Right In and the other is Heat of the Moment, which was an instrumental piece on my last solo record, Necessary Evil. And Chris [Stein] and I are working on things for Blondie.
What's it like being part of the establishment?
I don't know if I really am part of the establishment. Probably a lot of people view me that way, but I really think that coming from the New York underground counter-culture of the 1970s has stood me well. I've learnt to play the game, but I started out not really knowing what I was doing.
But I bet you got a few marriage proposals...
I don't know how many I would count as being really serious. I did have one from Anthony [Kiedis] from the Red Hot Chili Peppers when he was about eight! I treasure that. I had to let him down gently.
You're playing the Motor Show Music Festival - do you like fast cars?
I do, actually. I have a 73 Caprice Classic Chevrolet, which is lovely. I've been nursing it along for years.
BLONDIE PLAY THE MOTOR SHOW TONIGHT AT 9PM, BRITISHMOTORSHOW.CO.UK
Interview: Jonathan Lovett