Shepard Fairy's mural has been here since August 2017.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Monday, December 14, 2020
@praxis_vgz (h/t the LISA Project NYC) restored Shepard Fairy's Blondie mural on Bleecker at the Bowery. (Thanks to Robert Miner for the above photo!)
Friday, June 14, 2019
Meghan Fredrich, a former East Village resident who is currently living in Massachusetts, shared her first short film with me. "Deborah Harry Does Not Like Interviews," created from archival footage, shows how Blondie's Debbie Harry "endures years of superficial, tedious and demeaning questions from journalists until she devises a brilliant way to turn interviews on their head." The short recently made its premiere at the Maryland Film Festival and is now currently online.
Fredrich answered a few questions about the film, which you can watch below...
What was your introduction to Blondie? Do you recall the first time that you heard a Blondie song?
I’m a millennial (so sorry) and was a kid in the 1980s and 1990s. I have vague memories of seeing "Heart of Glass" and "Rapture" music videos on MTV or VH1.
Were you instantly a fan?
I think like so many others I was immediately entranced. My childhood home was a sort of New Wave temple – my parents playing records of the Talking Heads and B-52s. As I got older and developed a more complete understanding of punk, I became deeply involved with Blondie and never looked back.
What are some of the qualities that intrigued you initially about Debbie Harry? Did these perceptions change at all during the making of the film?
Debbie is unequivocally charismatic, so I think that drew my initial interest. But Debbie always appeared to me to be a very substantial person. Despite the ongoing media obsession with her blondeness and appearance, she is not all on the surface or superficial in any way. And she always appealed to me as a truly modern woman — an independent spirit.
I knew these things about her before I began the film, but I think my appreciation of her integrity, cleverness and sense of humor deepened as I worked on it.
Did you start this project with Debbie Harry in mind? Or were you thinking more about exploring the way interviews are structured and how the media complex works?
It was the latter – I was thinking about the power relationship inherent in interviews and how the public accepts certain interview “norms.” From there I thought about who had been in the public eye for a long time, and Debbie came to mind.
Though the montage of clips you found, we see Harry endure an endless number of idiotic and sexist interviews. How did you see her reaction to these interviews evolve as she continued on in her career, both in Blondie and as a solo artist and actress?
As time goes by, we Debbie’s emotional reactions to these questions and interviews change, as well as the strategies or tactics she deploys to manage them. She’s initially surprised, perhaps. Then expectant, evasive, using humor to deflect. She tries presenting a somewhat neutral front. Toward the end, you see flickers of anger, frustration and resignation. Until Minkie appears.
I’m surprised that the introduction of a stuffed animal — in this case Minkie — during interviews hasn’t become standard media-training fare for any public figure.
I know what you mean!
Do you think if she was an emerging artist today that she’d face the same type of questioning in the media?
You can see this clearly happening now with Billie Ellish. In an ad campaign recently for Calvin Klein, Billie says, “That’s why I wear baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.” It’s a protective stance for an invasive world that would otherwise eat you alive.
Any idea if Deborah Harry has seen this?
We passed the film along to her people, but I don’t really know one way or another.
What do you want viewers to take away from the film?
How incredible Debbie is, to start! I hope they laugh while the watch it. But perhaps the overriding message of the piece comes from the lyrics of the song "I Want That Man." When Debbie sings “Here comes the 21st century/It’s gonna be much better for a girl like me,” we as the audience now watching in the 21st century have to ask ourselves: Is it?
And here's the full 17-minute film...
Friday, August 25, 2017
Back on Monday, a crew painted over the two-year-old Joey Ramone/CBGB mural on Bleecker at the Bowery...
In its place on Tuesday, Shepard Fairey (in connection with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC) created a mural in honor of Debbie Harry and Blondie...
..which wrapped up on Wednesday afternoon with a visit by Harry and Chris Stein. (Godlis has some photos here.)
Harry and Fairey previously collaborated on a project for his Obey fashion label coinciding with the 40-year anniversary of Blondie's debut album.
Updated 8:30 a.m.
Lola Sáenz notes this morning that, given the placement of the cardboard, it appears Debbie Harry has a new necklace...
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
[Cover photo from 1979 via Facebook]
The singer-songwriter-actress-Blondie lead singer turns 70 today.
On Saturday night, Blondie opened for Morrissey at the Garden, and drew high marks. Per the Voice: "Blondie’s sound has become (and will continue to be) the soundtrack to generations of fans’ lives. Last night’s performance at Madison Square Garden was a reminder of why Debbie Harry and her band continue to keep their audience enthralled after all these years."
On Friday night, Harry was at 292 Gallery on East Third Street to hear Romy Ashby read from her new novel "Stink."
(I do not know what she did last Thursday night.)
Now back to the music with "Rifle Range" from 1977...
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Been meaning to check out the completed work on Centre-fuge Cycle 13, the rotating outdoor gallery/construction trailer here along East First Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.
All the art this time is by Lexi Bella … for a collection titled "Heroines of the Lower East Side" … as part of the first Lower East Side History Month.
Aside from the more recognizable portraits of Debbie Harry and Rosario Dawson … Bella honors the Russ Daughters (of Russ & Daughters fame) …
LaMama founder Ellen Stewart …
Educator Catherine Ferguson, who founded the first Sunday school in New York City …
Hell-cat Maggie, "who fought alongside the Dead Rabbits and other Five Pointers against rival nativist gangs from the Bowery" …
… Lexi also paid tribute to her daughter Roxy, as BoweryBoogie pointed out…
Find more info about Centre-fuge here.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Work continues on Centre-fuge Cycle 13, the rotating outdoor gallery/construction trailer here along East First Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.
Unlike previous cycles, No. 13 is a solo effort by Lexi Bella … in a collection titled "Heroines of the Lower East Side" to coincide with the first Lower East Side History Month, which kicks off on Thursday (BoweryBoogie first reported on this back on April 18).
There are some familiar faces so far …
… and LaMama founder Ellen Stewart …
The murals should be completed by Thursday.
Find more info about Centre-fuge here.
And sort of an accidental shot…
Monday, July 1, 2013
Friday, October 22, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The Post features Blondie in its latest "My New York" feature.
One way or another, new wave icon Blondie has retained their punk aesthetic since banding together 35 years ago. Founders (and former lovers) Deborah Harry, 65, and Chris Stein, 60, bemoan the demise of grass-roots stomping grounds such as CBGB and Mother. “The whole nature of culture in New York has really taken a nose dive, basically,” says Harry, a longtime Chelsea resident. “It’s much harder for musicians and artists to do what they do without really having to scuffle.”
The two also talk about one of their early homes...
266 Bowery, between Prince and Houston streets
Stein: “We lived there for three years [in the 1970s].”
Harry: “We always thought it was haunted.”
Stein: “It definitely had poltergeists. There would be knocking on the walls, things falling down that weren’t related to any activity. It’s subtle stuff, but all the standard poltergeist nonsense went on there.”
The area around 266 is still haunted, though for different reasons....
Blondie plays the Nokia Theatre Tuesday night.
[266 Bowery via Flickr]