Woman's Own - 9th May 1987

Pages 30 & 31

WHAT, NO ROLLERS!

You'd never guess Debbie Harry had been through so much heartache. But now the bad days are behind her, and she looks beautiful - even if she did lose the fight with her hairdryer! Joanna Wane reports.

She was the outrageous streetwise sex siren of the Seventies with a string of hits behind her, but Debbie Harry gave it all up for love. Now she's back, after spending five years away from the limelight caring for her seriously ill lover, Chris Stein.
With those bewitching almond-shaped eyes and finely chiselled cheekbones, Debbie Harry still looks stunning for a woman in her forties. But what on earth has happened to her hair! Has Debbie poked her finger in a power socket? Her wild haystack of peroxide blonde and black gives a new meaning to the crumpled look.
An eye-catching hairstyle was always one of Debbie's trademarks. She made Blondie one of the hottest groups of the Seventies. Now Debbie's solo career looks set to match that success. Her new single In Love With Love has just been released following her 1986 comeback hit - French Kissing In The USA - both from her album Rockbird. And that's just the beginning. Debbie stars in the film Forever Lulu, due to be released later this year and is writing songs for a new album.
But the best news is that Chris Stein, her partner for 13 years, has made a full recovery from the rare skin disease that threatened his life. Debbie was at the peak of her career when Chris fell ill in 1981.
She became a virtual recluse, keeping a constant vigil by his bed. "It was nightmarish. A really sad scary time," she says. Now Chris seven years her junior, is supporting Debbie - as her lead guitarist. But there's no talk of marriage. "Marriage is a state of mind," says Debbie. "The change of name smacks of a woman becoming a possession.
"In a relationship, it's the commitment you make which is important and Chris and I have done that."
Chris's illness took its toll on both of them. The few photos taken of Debbie during those five years show her looking frumpish. But Debbie, a role model for so many successful female singers, is still a Queen of Pop in her own right.
"I know I'm looking older, but the longer you live, the more comfortable you feel about yourself. I am a strong person, a survivor. This isn't a comeback. We just took an extended vacation."

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN ARIS

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