Debbie Harry

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Debbie Harry (2008)

Debbie Harry (1945 Jul 1) is an American singer, songwriter, and model best known for being the lead singer of Blondie.


Gender, music, and performing[edit]

  • “I did in the beginning. It helped me to cultivate some kind of female persona. I took a lot of different aspects of my character from my childhood or young-womanhood and elaborated on them. The guys were also writing songs, and I felt like I had to portray what they were writing and appreciate the male point of view as well as the female point of view.”
  • “And I always felt that since all my life, I was always called ‘Debbie’ or ‘Harry’ – so I embodied this myself and it’s just the way it was. It probably still is!...Yeah, so I don’t know – I never really had any problems with that and I’m always surprised when people have a fear or frustration about their combination of sexualities – I think we do better recognising both within ourselves.”
  • “Yes, but, you know, in a way it was good because I can sneak up on them unawares. I think times have changed in that respect. Women are serious wage-earners, and we create great things, and it seems clear to me that we can be supportive of one another regardless of what sex [we are].”
  • “I was working as a team and in a relationship. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable being a solo artist and I’m sure that those girls have a lot more to say about that than I do. I never went into meetings trying to get a record deal by myself, so it’s a little bit different.”

Autobiography and personal life[edit]

  • “With lyrics, I have a basic idea, and then I write little phrases that fit with the music and encapsulate a feeling. I start with a theme and then try to adjust it to the music. I like the music to come first. For the book, I would sit down and tell the story, and then go back and edit myself. It’s probably a similar process to what you do with your photography. You shoot it, and then go back to it.”
  • “Not at this point in my life because I’m an adult. I think we all have a little area of clutter that’s nagging sometimes and it’s often hard to get rid of. Maybe this is my purge.”
  • “I sort of thought: ‘Gee, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad to have kids.’ But I don’t know if I could have done it while I was working so much…My natural inclination is to really throw myself into things. It wouldn’t be like I could hand over the baby. I would really want to be involved.”
  • “I don’t actually regret taking it, but I do regret the amount of time … it’s a time-consumer. But I think at that point it was a necessary evil. To some degree, it was self-medicating. It was a rough, depressing time of life and it seemed to suit the purpose, but then it outlived its benefits.”
  • “I mean, I was angry and I felt victimised. I wasn’t beaten or harmed physically, it was all emotional or mental. Being raped – or fucked – by some stranger against my will at knifepoint, you know…It wasn’t a happy moment in my life, but I really, seriously, empathise with women who are beaten. That would be something that [would lead to] emotional ramifications for the rest of my life. But this doesn’t.”
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