"I wish I'd invented sex"
When I was twelve I decided to bleach my (some say dark ash blonde, I say mousy) hair. I wanted to have hair like Debbie Harry who I thought was the epitome of cool. I trotted off to the nearest chemist and bought something called Light and Bright which was about £1.99 back then. I hadn't really got a clue what I was doing and basically what I'd bought was peroxide. I followed the instructions and an hour or so later emerged from the bathroom with bright golden-blonde hair. It was so bright you'd spot me a mile off. My mother had an absolute fit when she saw it and I was promptly carted off to the hairdressers to get it toned down.
I was totally mesmerised the first time I saw Debbie Harry on Top of the Pops in 1978. She was like a punk version of Marilyn Monroe I thought she was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen; porcelain skin, those fabulous lips, to-die-for cheekbones and of course the platinum blonde hair. She was cool, beautiful and had attitude. At thirty two she was old by punk standards, she seemed like a Hollywood starlet from another era.
Debbie Harry was in a band called The Stilettoes in the early Seventies. Blondie was formed in 1975. They were one of the biggest acts to perform at legendary punk club CBGB's in New York. By their third album, the disco infused pop-punk masterpiece Parallel Lines, Debbie Harry became a household name. Her iconic look was created with the help of her friend, the pop art designer Stephen Sprouse. He not only styled the band but also art directed their music videos.
Blondie became a hugely successful band worldwide, selling thirty million albums. The band split at the height of their fame in 1982 over their increasing heroin use.
Every woman wanted to be her and every man wanted to sleep with her. Debbie Harry will always be one of the most important pop and style icons of all time.
Now for lots of gratuitous pictures of Debbie... Here are some of my favourites.
"Debbie was an American ponytail girl as seen through the eyes of Roger
Vadim; Barbarella on speed, or something like that"