Blondie back at their best

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - WHAT'S ON -

ROM Madonna to Gaga and be­yond, Deb­bie Harry pro­vided the tem­plate for smart, re­bel­lious pop singers through the ages with her band Blondie.

At 67, she’s still at it. Last year, a re­con­sti­tuted ver­sion of the group fea­tur­ing orig­i­nal mem­bers Harry, gui­tarist Chris Stein and drum­mer Clem Burke, re­leased its ninth stu­dio al­bum Panic of Girls.

As the band pre­pares to head to Aus­tralia, Harry speaks from her home in New York in be­tween dates on the group’s US tour with Devo. Ear­lier this year, the pa­parazzi mis­took you for Lind­say Lo­han. Were you flat­tered or in­sulted?

I’m com­pletely flat­tered. I love Lind­say. The fun­ni­est thing about it is I was at the Mercer Ho­tel tap­ing this thing with Lynn Gold­smith, who is one of the most fa­mous fe­male rock pho­tog­ra­phers of all time, and when we came out I thought they were yelling, ‘‘Lyn­nie! Lyn­nie!’’ Did you ever get that kind of at­ten­tion with Blondie?

We did, and we didn’t. There was a time in the UK when we had No. 1 af­ter No. 1. Be­lieve me, they have pa­parazzi. So we did have that kind of thing there, but not so much here in the States. How are the tours dif­fer­ent now than they were in 1979?

The tech­nol­ogy has made it a lot eas­ier than it used to be. It used to be so iso­lat­ing be­cause the only com­mu­ni­ca­tion you had was a phone, and it wasn’t in your pocket. Per­form­ing these songs af­ter all this time, do they still mean any­thing to you, or are you think­ing about your dry clean­ing when you sing

Ab­so­lutely not. It’s al­ways fun. If there’s a song that strikes me as be­ing some­thing that I can’t re­late to, then we don’t do it. So fa­mil­iar­ity hasn’t bred con­tempt?

I wanted to just per­form the new al­bum in our show. Un­der­stand­ably, au­di­ences want to hear the songs that have a mean­ing to them from years past. I’m the same way. When I go see Prince, I want to hear Kiss or Rasp­berry Beret and I’m some­what dis­ap­pointed if I don’t hear it.

It’s so great. I’m al­ways sur­prised – and some­times hor­ri­fied.

Blondie, The Stran­glers and The Saints play the Bris­bane River­stage on De­cem­ber 13. Tick­ets go on sale on Tues­day.

Blondie will tour Aus­tralia in De­cem­ber There are some great old clips on YouTube from the times you were on and

Do you ever watch them?

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