Vanity Fair - November 2001

       CHRIS STEIN
                  DEBORAH HARRY

THE OLD FLAMES

Founders of Blondie
Seven original studio albums (as Blondie);
four No. 1 U.S. singles.

She was singing with a band called the Stillettoes at the Boburn Tavern on West 28th Street one night in 1973; he was in the audience. She could feel him looking at her, and found herself singing directly to him. Soon afterward he joined the band, and eventually moved in with her and her cats on Thompson Street. By 1974 the Stillettoes were history, but Debbie Harry and Chris Stein stayed together, playing CBGB and other clubs (as part of a scene that included Televison and the Ramones) as either Angel and the Snake or Blondie and the Banzai Babies. And so began the band that had the balls to mix disco and rock at the height of the Disco Sucks movement in "Heart of Glass" (1979), and to be the first white band to have a rap smash hit, with "Rapture" (1981). In 1999, Stein and Harry - who remain best friends - managed to get the band back together without being tacky about it. Their comeback album, No Exit, was actually good, and it's single "Maria" debuted at No. 1 in the UK.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz in New York City on May 9, 2001.

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