TV WEEK - 28th March 1981
OFF STAGE DEBBIE SHEDS HER SEX GODDESS IMAGE
AS SHE came through the door, a small figure dressed in a black jacket over a quilted jump suit, her hair hidden under a blue silk scarf and glasses perched on her nose, she could have been any trendy young housewife.
It was hard to connect this clear-skinned young woman with the other Debbie Harry, the one who, as the taunting, predatory star of the pop group Blondie, made her name prowling the stages of Europe and America - the sex goddess of rock 'n' roll.
"Inevitably, there's a lot of me out there," she says.
"When Blondie started, I had a very clear idea of who she was. But now the images of Blondie and me as a person are sometimes so overlapping that it's difficult for me to seperate the two."
Debbie Harry's origins do not make her seem a likely candidate for her current role as the New Wave's Sex Queen. After being adopted at the age of three months, she was brought up in a comfortable home in the New Jersey suburbs.
The cool blonde was then a rather shy, mousy little thing.
But despite her image, she's still close to the parents who adopted her and she has maintained an unfashionably monogamous, seven-year relationship with Chris Stein, who, with Debbie, started the band and is still the motivating force behind it and the lead guitarist.
Stein, at 30, is five years younger than Debbie. He is hardly a typical rock star.
Prematurely greying, analytical and sensible, he says of living with Debbie Harry: "Someone lives with Sophia Loren, someone lives with Jane Fonda and after a while they take it for granted.
"Debbie and I have a great relationship and I'm very happy about it. If we worked together every day in an office, it might be strained, but because rock 'n' roll is a lifestyle we don't have problems."
When they're not working they mostly stay home and watch TV.
Clubs and discos are not on their itinerary and a secure home life seems important to them both.
Debbie is clearly a creature of contradictions. She loves to shock by displaying raging female sexuality on stage, but in private she talks of how she is "nearly ready to face up to the responsibility of having children."
She and Chris Stein are partners as well as lovers and they seem devoted in a charmingly old-fashioned way.
But the girl who loves to play maneater enjoys the idea that she feeds men's fantasies.
"I think a fantasy life is very important and if, as Blondie, I can be that for people, I think it's great. As a teenager I used to imagine that Marilyn Monroe was my real mother.
"That's a fantasy a lot of adopted girls share."
When she gives thanks, this 5ft. 3in. powerhouse must add a footnote of gratitude to the unknown genes which have been so kind to her.
Debbie Harry has flawless skin, Clara Bow lips, ice-blue eyes and a delicate frame.
"Blondie is a characterisation," she says. "I'm not Blondie and I don't dress like Blondie when I'm living my life."