The Borderline - Oct 1989

Deborah Harry Live At The Borderline In London
Saturday 7th October 1989

Written by Mark Bruce - August 2003

I was one of the lucky Blondie fans to see Debbie live at the Borderline back in 1989. This was the first time I ever saw her live and will always remain one of the best nights of my life and one of the best gigs she has ever done in my mind.

It's hard to remember all the facts as I'm writing this 14 years after the actual event but here goes! About a week before, Teletext announced the Borderline gigs, my friends (also big Blondie fans) Helen and Alison called me up and we went down to the Borderline to buy tickets excited but also worried that we'd get there too late and there'd be no tickets left. Finally we're outside freezing cold in a very long queue..... as we wait I notice a lot of blonde-haired girls with the famous Debbie bob hairstyle.... "Hang on", I thought, "that's Andrea from The Darling Buds in front of us in the queue, how surreal". Each person was only allowed to buy 2 tickets and we needed more as we'd promised some friends tickets so we kidnapped a motorcycle courier who just happened to be passing, into queuing up and buying 2 more tickets.... we did give him 50 cash for his troubles.

Def Dumb And Blonde was not yet out so hearing the new stuff live gave me such a buzz. "I Want That Man" had just been released. I can't remember the full track listing or what order they went in but it started off with the theme from Halloween as the band walked onto the tiny stage followed by Debbie. First track was "The Hunter" which no one was expecting, but was a refreshing surprise and sung so beautifully. After that it's a bit of a blur.... I spent too much time at the front next to Debbie gazing at her face and her black see-through all in one body stocking that she wore with just a tiny g-string underneath. She was back in shape looking as good as she ever had in Blondie, and hardly any make-up on... just the minimum amount.

Highlights from that night were of course the rose being thrown at her, she bit the head and spat the rose petals back at us. Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran was there with his wife, my friend Sue kept trying to get his attention all night and I questioned why the hell I gave her a ticket in the first place.

Anyway, of the tracks I remember her performing live are The Hunter, I Want That Man, Bugeye, Liar Liar, Kiss It Better, Rapture, The Tide Is High, Get Your Way, Brite Side, Comic Books, Bike Boy, Cautious Lip, Heart Of Glass, Call Me, I've probably missed a few out.....

After the show Debbie hung around back stage with The Thompson Twins, fans handing paper and CD covers for Debbie and Chris to sign, Helen got her Parallel Lines CD signed but Debbie put "To Ellen" which made me laugh. When we got out of the club a crowd had gathered at another entrance and we walked down the street with Debbie and the band together with bodyguards surrounding Debbie. Sue chatted to Carla Olla (rhythm guitar) and said what's it like being in the band and Carla replied that it's soooo crazy! The band then walked into what looked like an exclusive club or bar and we decided it was time to leave them alone and go home with the memories of the night. Alison was crying because she'd been waiting all her life to see Debbie live and this was better than anything she had imagined.

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