Former cocktail waitress Deborah Harry was already in her 30s (ancient for a pop starlet) when she hit the big time with New Wave band Blondie, but this only added to her allure.
Blondie looked like a top-shelf MILF who had cashed in her baby bonus for contraceptives, make-up, cheap hair dye (she’s actually ginge-minged) and ‘fuck me’ outfits, and goddammit, she was out to make the most of her sexual prime.
Debbie was teacher, sultry temptress and desperado—a winning combination in the eyes of shy boys everywhere. It felt like her burning blue eyes saw what you did last night, but her luscious smirk said she though it was hot. Then there was that voice…
On the debut Blondie album she tempted you in like a siren with her soft cooing on ‘In The Flesh’ then put you between her leather thigh-high boots and owned you with tough-bitch aggro on ‘Rip Her To Shreds’.
The worldwide success of Blondie’s third album, Parallel Lines, had nothing to do with the band’s amazing affinity for songs about lines—specifically white lines, a la ‘Rush, Rush’ from 1983’s Scarface soundtrack—it was all about Deb.
At a time of punk and new directions, she was out there (and just a little bit nasty), but not in a skanky “Oh my God, did I get a sore down there just thinking about Nancy Spungen?” way. No, Deb was superfly. She rocked out ‘Call Me’, a song supposedly about a girl who loved a prostitute, then later
“Her blue eyes knew what you did last night and her smirk said that she liked it”
Deb confessed to gay magazine Diva that she had “lots” of sexual relationships with women, but she was “probably more heterosexual”. As the ´80s began, Debbie was the hottest woman in my world, edging out Olivia Newton-John by a nipple. Seriously, Olivia might get “bad” in Grease, but we all just knew Deb would be strap-on-the-kneepads-and-grab-the-plastic-sheet freaky. She was hot-tottie punk with street cred.
The day MTV hit the air saw Debbie vamping it up in ‘Rapture’ and–get this—showing a white chick rapping for the first time ever.
And it was about weird shit, too: men from Mars eating cars. Debbie even scored her drugs from the same place as David Bowie.
Debbie eventually became too famous for the guys in Blondie, and turned to acting. She was so hip that in 1983 she played the lead—as a female wrestler—in the Broadway play Teaneck Tanzi opposite Andy Kaufman. It lasted just two performances on Broadway—rumour has it that Debbie’s sweat-smudged, semi-naked grappling caused some of the audience to spontaneously combust, and the public liability issues were crippling.
Debbie then moved to cinema ,where she played a sadomasochistic psychiatrist who has kinky sex with James Woods in Videodrome. It’s what we all wanted to see, but even freakier than we imagined! I knew Deb was smoking hot, but the sight of her getting off while burning her boobs with cigarettes was too much. In the interests of preserving artistic treasures, I whipped out my firehose.
The rest of Deb’s career was anti-climactic. Blondie reformed in 1998, and still sputters along sporadically, but the sight of a 60-something Deb bursting through fishnets like cottage cheese in a sieve while singing ‘Die Young, Stay Pretty’ is like reverse Viagra. Regrets? Debbie once said: “I wish I had invented sex”.
Well, memories of Blondie in her prime certainly enhanced sex for many of us—hell, often we didn’t even need a woman—and those are the memories I will keep forever.