Debbie Harry

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Debbie Harry (2008)
Debbie Harry in 1977.

Deborah Ann Harry (born Angela Trimble; July 1, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, model and actress, known as the lead singer of the new wave band Blondie.


"Debbie Harry on heroin, rape, robbery – and why she still feels lucky" (Oct 1, 2019)[edit]

"Debbie Harry on heroin, rape, robbery – and why she still feels lucky" in The Guardian (1 Oct 2019)

  • I think we all have issues of self-esteem and I’m not clear of that…I also think that because it’s my occupation – to be a performer and to attract attention and to appeal to sexuality – it’s sort of a given in showbiz.
    • On her image being objectified
  • 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].
    • On how she was initially dismissed as a serious performer due to her gender
  • 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.
    • On how her experiences with sexism might differ from other female musicians
  • 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.
    • On addressing in her autobiography how being adopted had given her feelings of abandonment during her younger years
  • 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.
    • On her decision to not become a mother
  • 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.
    • On her past drug use and how it impacted her career and personal life
  • 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.
    • On how she dealt with the trauma of being sexual assaulted

"Debbie Harry and Cindy Sherman Compare Notes on Sex, Sexism, and Success" (Oct. 1, 2019)[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.
    • On her initial stage persona while performing for Blondie
  • 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.
    • On how her musical sensibilities informed her autobiographical writing process
  • I’ve never been a diarist… I wish I had done that. Selfishly, I wanted to have all these moments in my life shape me, but I didn’t necessarily want to share them. And I guess that makes me a nasty bitch.
    • On how she would have ideally approached her autobiography

"Debbie Harry on a life like no other: ‘I have a stubborn will to survive’" (Oct. 2, 2019)[edit]

"Debbie Harry on a life like no other: ‘I have a stubborn will to survive’" in NME (2 Oct 2019)

  • In order to survive, I could never put myself in the position of whining about being a woman. I just got on with it. As much as it was possible, I found a way to do what I wanted to do.
    • On emerging as a female artist in male-dominated music scene during the 1970s
  • 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.
    • On how she views terms such as genderqueer and non-binary

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