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Mirror.co.uk - 3rd June 2004

PLAY FAIR, DEBS!

She bans blonde support act

03/06/2004

She's been in showbiz for more than 25 years and Debbie Harry still knows how to act the proper rock diva.

The Blondie superstar, 58, scuppered an up-and-coming indie band's chances of supporting them on their UK tour because - wait for it... the lead singer is blonde, too.

M.A.S.S, who have drawn comparisons with Blondie, had been chosen to support Debbie and Co at a one-off gig in Amsterdam.

But minutes before they were due to go on stage at the Paradiso club, the promoter informed them that they could only perform after Blondie.

A clause in a contract stipulated that no groups with a blonde singer could go on before them.

M.A.S.S, which is fronted by Justine Berry and features Denise Van Outen's ex, Andy Miller from Dodgy, on lead guitar, were understandably miffed.

"Maybe she was afraid of the competition," fumes their manager, Andrew Winters. "It was literally just before the guys were due on stage in Amsterdam that the promoter came up and told us there was a problem.

"He said Justine is blonde so we couldn't go on because there is a ban on blonde girls supporting Debbie Harry.

"I couldn't believe what I was hearing. At first I thought it was a joke but it wasn't. Turns out they didn't realise Justine is blonde because the band is quite punky and heavy metal. I was told there was a clause that stipulates this. Maybe she doesn't want the competition, who knows?

"In the end M.A.S.S just played the aftershow party and now the UK dates aren't going to happen.

"It would have been a fantastic opportunity. It's a shame that something as silly as someone's hair colour should get in the way."

He went on: "The band were pleased they got to do the after party because it turned out to be quite prestigious and a good old knees-up. And we've been offered the support for The Datsuns and, I think, with all things considered, they prefer it that way."

Blondie kick off their UK tour tonight in Brighton with just a DJ as support.

A music insider said: "A lot of female singers don't want other female singers supporting them.

"If you are a blonde singer, trading on the fact that you are blonde, it's understandable that you wouldn't want a blonde supporting you."

A spokesperson for Blondie would not comment.

Link: Mirror.co.uk - 3rd June 2004


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