blon­des have more fun

Deb­bie Harry cel­e­brates 40 years, with no re­grets. BY mar­cel an­ders

Elle (Canada) - - Radar -

she was a sec­re­tary, a go-go dancer and a Play­boy Bunny be­fore be­com­ing one of the most in­flu­en­tial pop stars of the 20th century. Now, at 69, Deb­o­rah Ann Harry is cel­e­brat­ing the 40th an­niver­sary of her band Blondie, which has sold some 40 mil­lion al­bums. And her ca­reer is far from over. To­day, at an über-chic ho­tel in Berlin, the woman who once called her­self “Dirty Harry” is wear­ing a sleek black suit, a white tee, sneak­ers and sun­glasses. She is still the coolest. With a new al­bum, Ghosts of Down­load, and a world tour rolling out, Harry sat down with ELLE Canada to talk about film, fash­ion and mu­sic.

Does Ghosts of Down­load re­fer to pop mu­sic be­ing ex­tremely dis­pos­able these days? To mu­sic be­ing a file that is gone like a ghost once it’s deleted? “That’s a very in­ter­est­ing point of view. Ev­ery­one we’ve talked to has a dif­fer­ent idea of what that means. But it’s some­thing about the spirit that’s in the elec­tric­ity.... [With this al­bum], the writ­ers did all of their work on a com­puter, and then we would send files to people and they would play to it or sing to it or write to it or what­ever.” Do you still go to clubs a lot? “I do, ac­tu­ally. Last week I was at Up & Down, which is a new club on West 14th Street [in New York City]. That was a lot of fun. I have a lot of friends who are DJs. I love to dance.” What made you turn down per­form­ing at the Olympics in Sochi? Was it be­cause of Putin’s ho­mo­pho­bia? “Yeah.

It’s pretty aw­ful. We had just done a show for Amnesty In­ter­na­tional, so it was ap­pro­pri­ate [to de­cline].” How do you feel about be­ing called a punk icon? “We didn’t play punk mu­sic strictly—we al­ways did a mix­ture. But punk was more of a sig­na­ture about a sen­si­bil­ity and an at­ti­tude. So, in that sense we were very punk.” Ru­mour has it you’ve had quite a few af­fairs with fe­males over the years. What’s bet­ter: mak­ing love to a man or a woman? “Well, let’s say women are more sen­sual.” [Laughs] Why didn’t you ever set­tle down? “It just didn’t work out that way. I didn’t think I would be par­tic­u­larly good at it. It seemed very fright­en­ing; it didn’t seem nat­u­ral to me.”

What was it like wear­ing a Play­boy Bunny cos­tume?

“The girls there were part of the en­ter­tain­ment, the mys­tique, the ex­cite­ment, the naugh­ti­ness. But on the in­side of that job, the girls were treated very well. There were a lot of ben­e­fits: health ben­e­fits, job se­cu­rity, good salary. It was a sought-af­ter job.” So it wasn’t de­grad­ing to women? It was one of the main tar­gets of the fem­i­nist move­ment in the late ’60s. “[The Play­boy team] were care­ful in their se­lec­tion and wanted pretty girls. So I think the fem­i­nist move­ment was con­cerned with the fact that a lot of women would not be able to have that job. But it wasn’t like you were given four years and kicked out be­cause you were get­ting old. Some women were there for a long time.” How will you cel­e­brate your 70th birth­day? “Oh, gosh, I hope I have a re­ally good party!”

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