World a more dangerous place when ‘Justin Bieber drives a car,’ Blondie's Debbie Harry says
Ali Tufan Koç ISTANBUL / Hürriyet
Blondie rocked Istanbul on Sept. 6. ‘I always wanted to give a concert in İstanbul. Actually I was going to years before, but the terror attacks in 2003 forced us to cancel it. We wanted to have another go few years after, but the producing company went bankrupt. We broke a leg on the third try. I’m happy,’ Debbie Harry told Hürriyet.She roars from the stage with her blond hair, “One Way or Another,” “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me” while her peers knit and expect grandchildren. We can’t stop listening to 70-year-old Debbie Harry’s stories about the 70s, her greatest love and rock ’n’ roll legends before Blondie’s Istanbul concert.
“The world is more dangerous now than in the 1970s. I prefer to stay at home in a world where Justin Bieber drives a car,” she says.
You lived at the center of everything in an era which is accepted as the golden age of art, music and fashion: the 70s. Were you aware that the things around you would become “legendary” in the future?
I was not aware. We had created a little world for ourselves in New York. We were not even aware what was happening around the world. We worked a lot, the years where everyone’s productivity was in its prime… We had to work hard, because we needed money to stay alive.
Was there any name you thought “this person will be a great star in the future” back then?
No, dear. Everyone whose talent I believed in lost their lives. They were too much for this world. I am an expert on betting on the wrong horse.
There are many stories and legendary places about the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll lifestyle of the 70s. The toilet of the famous CBGB, where penniless musicians did oral sex for 5 dollars, for example. What happened there?
You mean that horrible place downstairs? It was like hell. I’ve never been there and did not know what happened downstairs. CBGB was a little, funny place. It does have a place in all of our hearts.
Is it true that the serial killer Ted Bundy tried to kidnap you while going to a party, or is it just another rumor?
I only noticed that the guy in that taxi was Ted Bundy years after the event, when a journalist victim of Bundy announced it on TV. The same thing he said happened to me, too. I was just able to save myself.
When you look at Keith Richards and David Bowie, we can’t help but ask: How are they still standing on their feet despite so many drugs and partying?
It was solitude, not alcohol and drugs that killed many of those rock stars during those years. Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse are also included in that list. Nothing happens to you if you are not abandoned or if you don’t feel alone.
And your luck was Chris Stein?
Always. We always covered our backs during our longest parties and tours. When one of us fell down, the other was there to help. He helped me a lot and so did I.
A very painful, rock ’n’ roll style love. How were you able to end your relationship and continue to work together? He even got married before your eyes.
Chris is my angel, my devil, my friend, my enemy, my brother, my everything. We were beyond lovers. It was a different love.
Isn’t it hard to protect your rock ’n’ roll image in your 70s? Don’t you want to stay at home, drink green tea and relax after a point?
There is a more dangerous world outside compared to the 70s. I prefer to stay at home in a world where Justin Bieber drives a car. When people call me to a party, I say to myself: “You’ve been through all of that before” and stay home.
You confessed you had relationships with women recently. Was that a part of a search, a different experience?
Let’s not consider it the same as the others. You should respect every kind of love. Except pedophiles, of course. One can experience many different kinds of love when one is liberated from one’s limits.
Translated by Yunus Yüzsüren