Face it, Debbie Harry, 74 : Sex, Drugs and Ageing

At 74, Debbie Harry is still the rock and roll animal. The same platinum hair, feline cheekbones, biker boots, black leather and sheer glimpses of her body. She was always a cool sex symbol and stood out on Top of the Pops as a feminist icon.

Her new memoirs ‘Face it’ does not disappoint. She shares insane stories of her and Iggy Pop, over 20 gigs played with David Bowie and her relationship with Chris Stein, boyfriend, guitarist and lifelong friend. Whether its tales of stolen guitars or parties with Andy Warhol at the factory, her stories showcase the life back in the 70’s – creative, wild and social. But alongside the crazy parties and famous faces are stories of rape, taking heroin, and her search for her month who continually rejected her and wanted no contact.

After the heady 1970s, the 80s were fraught with tour cancellations, Steins ill health and tax debts which caused Debbie to lose her house, car and clothes. As the years go on the excitement gets a little more predictable and now her routines include more dog walks than parties.

Always a private person, the book shares her experiences but very little of her inner self. The mystery of Debbie Harry remains and all the stories make it an engaging read.

Always a Sex Symbol

She says fame gave her a very sensual feeling, using her sexuality to her advantage. She says sex sells, but she takes control of it in a very assertive way. She is very pragmatic about being a playboy bunny, saying it paid well and it was a way of being and independent feminist by looking after herself.

What I love about her and her book is that it shows she understands herself. She has always put her artistic freedom first, which is why she never wanted to be a mother.

On Getting Older

“Someday I’m happy with the way I look and sometimes I’m not and that’s always been the way. But I’m not blind and I’m not stupid. I take advantage of my looks and use them.”

For someone who started dying her hair platinum blond at 14, looks are important to Debbie. She has been open about having plastic surgery and just sees it as another way of looking after yourself. She says that it makes her feel better, and look better which helps her work better.

“Getting older is hard on your looks. Like everybody else. I have good days, bad days and those ‘Shit I hope nobody sees me today’ days”

And her final words on being 74 .

“I’m happier now than probably ever in my life’ …’You go through struggles; you know who you are. You feel complete.”

Face It brings back memories and is a great reminder on the ups and downs of life of which this punk sex symbol has won and lost more than most. What I love is the way the words and pictures in the book captures both how hot Blondie was and her inner strength as a person.

Face It by Debbie Harry is available now.


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