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Face It: A Memoir

Face It: A Memoir

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He greets them “with a Colt 45 in one hand and a bottle of Manischewitz [kosher wine] in the other”.

Harry had the pleasure of acting in some of the most interesting independent films of the last twenty years. For my part, over the years and still now after having swept through different musical genres, I like to listen to the Blondie songs old or recent but also to watch their videos where I often found a comic side introduced by this pretty and fascinating woman, oddly enough. A precious edition in which Debbie describes the obstacles overcome to follow her vocation and express her talent. She is devoted to environmental issues such as clean water and saving pollinators as well as the promotion of the LGBTQ community and human rights.

There are books that chronicle those times better ( Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain) but hey, it's Debbie Harry - nice to read her perspective of her journey and learn of how some of the band's top hits and records were created.

I wasn’t submissive or begging him to come back, I was kicking his ass, kicking him out, kicking my own ass too. Sure, I knew she came up through the punk era, was there at CBGB's, was mentioned in the same breath as Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine, but I really had no idea how deeply involved she was with the people and places of that lost era--her memories of which certainly made me emotional at times.To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.

Read or listen to her life's story and go out and listen to her solo albums which are amazing as well. Although I have fond memories of listening to the music of Blondie and watching the videos of the winsome Debbie Harry prancing in front of the camera, I wasn’t a mega-fan and never followed her career after the break-up of the band. It was she, for instance, who saw an upturned car on a New York street and, rather than moving on, declared it ideal for a photoshoot.

Secondly, the book was more like a list of random facts (which had no bearing or importance in regard to Blondie the band, or Debbie Harry as the face of Blondie) just sprinkled on the page and interspersed with, "and boy was I pretty. Harry's memoir is divided into many chapters; each read like transcribed interviews, because they are. Debbie Harry tells her story in a very subtle and subdued way, of course, one could criticise her for being thin on detail if they are that way inclined, or they could just be tolerant and accept that this is the way she is telling her story, it's her story to tell after all and she can tell it exactly how she wants to. They were never as loud and fast as the Ramones or as influential as Patti Smith, but their music was irresistible. In one scene she talks about how Miles Davis was a patron in a bar she worked out and all she says is that his date spoke for him and she (Harry) didn't understand why they sat him in a table upstairs.

When Blondie’s singer, Debbie Harry, was crafting her image as a pop star in the mid-70s, she looked first to cinema. She says almost nothing about the writing or production of her music, and she seems reticent to talk about big events like the dissolution of the group and the break-up of her relationship with Chris Stein. I couldn’t wait for my library to get a copy, so I listened to the audio on Scribd without the benefit of having a digital or print book to complement it- something I rarely do. When talking about harassment she encountered (David Bowie exposing himself in dressing rooms, a band member staring at her chest while speaking to her, producers making a semi-nude picture of her into an ad without her consent, etc.The book also contains a lot of great pictures (not surprisingly) and artwork of her that was created by fans who send it in to Debbie. It is amazing how harrowing and interesting day to day life was for Harry as she spent her formative years in New Jersey and New York City – and she mentions several times that this was before they cleaned it all up. As such, much of what was revealed in her memoir was news to me and I did find her background to be quite interesting. She couldn't bother to mention her participating in a satanic ritual during 2011 (She cut into a life size cake of a nude Debbie Harry and ripped out the heart) -WTF was that all about? It's her sense of humor that comes out and she hates to do interviews or at least in the States she does.

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