Filled with never-before-seen photos and art throughout, the much-anticipated autobiography from rock icon and lead singer of Blondie, Debbie Harry
BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL AND BORN TO BE PUNK
Musician, actor, activist, and the iconic face of New York City cool, Debbie Harry is the frontwoman of Blondie, a band that 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, 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 re-creates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie. Aesthetically dazzling, and including never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It brings Debbie Harry’s world and artistic sensibilities to life.
Following her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie’s breakup 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.
“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.”—From Face It
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.
She has a unique outlook on the Bew York music and art scene that is unmatched really. She was born to do this and in a time that was ready for her- the 70’s and ‘80’s. The music holds up. The sex drugs and rock and roll seems quaint and nostalgic now and like her I wish I could be transported back to my youth then. But fir now I’ll enjoy this book. She seems like she is enjoying herself. Good for her.
Not the rebel she thinks she is
A scattered and oddly depressing autobiography. Debbie is one of those thinkers who deludes herself that she’s some rebel because she “broke the rules” ie took drugs, played in a band. made some terrible art, and didn’t get married or have kids - pretty much the very things that shallow capitalist culture promotes today. Her boomer generation were conned into bringing this stoned out nihilism into the mainstream. She imbibed the whole deal, and. even at an advanced age, thinks it was trailblazing. It just comes across as sad.
Her “deep” insights read like the diversity statements from any major American corporation. She may have been punk for a minute, but she has bought into conventional globalist liberalism since. This is Coca Cola rebellion with yawningly predictable opinions that dovetail with the “correct” way to think. There’s nothing edgy here. Certainly nothing to get you booted from social media - the barometer for edginess these days. If anything, she is at pains to demonstrate how in agreement with current orthodoxy she has always been. But the hits were glorious. Shame she wasted half her life since the hits stopped in the early 80s. Those amazing genes were never passed on. Despite her yearnings to find her real parents, she never became one. So after the Blondie heyday, much of this book is prattle about numbing the emptiness via drugs and sex. Her solo work is largely forgettable, as is her film work. Listen to Blondie’s music and skip this - it’s not worth your time.