"Debbie Harry on heroin, rape, robbery – and why she still feels lucky" (Oct 1, 2019)
"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)
“DEBBIE HARRY AND CINDY SHERMAN COMPARE NOTES ON SEX, SEXISM, AND SUCCESS” in Interview (1 Oct 2019)
- 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)
"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