‘I was saying things in songs that female singers didn’t really say back then. I wasn’t submissive or begging him to come back, I was kicking his ass, kicking him out, kicking my own ass too. My Blondie character was an inflatable doll but with a dark, provocative, aggressive side. I was playing it up, yet I was very serious.’
BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL AND BORN TO BE PUNK
DEBBIE HARRY is a musician, actor, activist and the iconic face of New York City cool. As the front-woman of Blondie, she and the band forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock, punk, disco, reggae and hip-hop to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time. As a muse, she collaborated with some of the boldest artists of the past four decades. The scope of Debbie Harry’s impact on our culture has been matched only by her reticence to reveal her rich inner life – until now.
In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and stunning visuals that includes never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It upends the standard music memoir while delivering a truly prismatic portrait. With all the grit, grime, and glory recounted in intimate detail, Face It recreates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.
Following her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie’s break-up as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than thirty films, a stunning solo career and the triumphant return of her band, and her tireless advocacy for the environment and LGBTQ rights, Face It is a cinematic story of a woman who made her own path, and set the standard for a generation of artists who followed in her footsteps – a memoir as dynamic as its subject.
About the author
DEBBIE HARRY with Blondie has sold millions of albums worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Harry had the pleasure of acting in some of the most interesting independent films of the last twenty years. She is devoted to environmental issues such as clean water and saving pollinators as well as the promotion of the LGBTQ community and human rights.
The singer of the New Wave band Blondie and star of art-house movies Videodrome and Hairspray looks back on lots of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll in this rough-and-tumble memoir. Harry recounts her plunge into bohemian New York in the 1960s and her navigation of the music scene as it shifted from hippiedom to disco to punk. It's a story of creative ferment, as she infused the burgeoning punk aesthetic into her own glammed-up style Marilyn Monroe with "a dark, provocative, aggressive side" and used Method acting techniques to hone her singing while slogging through gigs in gloriously grungy clubs including CBGB's and L.A.'s Whiskey a Go Go . Her portrait of Blondie's success in the late '70s feels less effervescent, full of wearisome touring and business wrangles. Harry offers a frank look at her life on the edge, including "oversexed" erotic adventures, a mugging and rape that she shrugs off ("the stolen guitars hurt me more"), an attempted abduction by a man she thinks may have been serial killer Ted Bundy, and unapologetic drug use. ("Heroin was a great consolation," she reflects of a period when she supplied herself and her hospitalized bandmate and boyfriend Chris Stein with the narcotic.) The narrative rambles, but Blondie fans will love its piquant atmospherics and the energy and honesty of Harry's take on her singular saga.
Of all the rock autobiographies I’ve read, and I’ve read a few, this is up there in the top five. So many times I’ve been disappointed but this is exactly what I wanted to know, related with great style.