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inthemix - 22nd September 2007

Blondie star’s rock & roll sex change

Proto-blonde sex symbol Debbie Harry chatted about the intricacies of life as the singer of 80s new wave stars Blondie this week and said she always found performing on stage to be sexually ambiguous.

“I think that women who get up on stage in rock are manly in lots of ways – (they have) a certain ferocity,” she told the Guardian, “I’m not afraid to be blunt. A lot of women are more decorous. They hold back,” she said. 
Her views matched those of fellow ‘80s punk star turned global pop star Chrissie Hynde who in August offered similar advice to upcoming female singers.

“Remember you’re in a rock & roll band,” the Pretenders singer stressed, “It’s not f**k me; it’s f**k you!” (Taranaki Daily News)

Debbie Harry also spoke at length about Blondie’s initial split in 1982 at the peak of their success and suggested the decade long break eventually helped her career.

“It went in our favour because people were copying us and there was nothing I could do about it,” she said, “And then when we came back we had taken on this status as being something legendary.”

Her views reflected those of British music legend John Foxx who walked away from Ultravox just before the band became international pop stars 30 years ago, continuing a solo career which eventually saw him becoming acknowledged individually as one of the key architects of today’s electronic music culture.

“All the people I admire – Picasso, Duchamp, John Lee Hooker, Cary Grant, Dickens, Satie, Monet, and many others, all simply carried on doing what they had to do,” John told Skrufff in an interview several years ago, “ They certainly didn’t even attempt to rely on looking ‘youthful’ or acting out ‘youngness’. If I thought about it, that entire celebrity youth/ area has always been what I feel its important to avoid – I’ve got work to do – investigations to pursue,” he added.

Techno pioneer Jeff Mills also addressed longevity in an interview with Skrufff last year, advising developing a thick skin as a prerequisite to sustained success.

“If you want to have a long and healthy career, one crucial piece of advice I could give is this: you have to be able to accept negative responses from the audience and people in general, and rebound from that criticism as quickly as possible,” Jeff Mills

“I know so many DJs who have often been severely affected by an audience’s negative response,” he added.

John Foxx’s 1980 debut solo album Metamatics is re-released (with a new CD disc of rarities) shortly.

Link: inthemix - 22nd September 2007

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