The eclectic American rock band, Blondie, started as an underground band in the mid-seventies. It wasn’t until 1978, when they released their iconic album Parallel Lines, that the band gained better recognition.
Over the next few decades, the band’s hits often reached number one on charts across the globe helping them cement their place in the music industry. In 2006, Blondie was induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame further proving that they are one of the best pop-rock bands to come out of the 1970s.
The original band members, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, are still releasing music and touring, but after all these years there are still some things you probably do not know about them.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. The band started out with a different name
Debbie Harry and Chris Stein were a duo known was ‘The Angel and the Snake’ years before they changed their band’s name to Blondie in 1975, after Debbie’s nickname.
2. Debbie Harry was a Playboy Bunny
Among the many female celebrities who had their start as models for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine was Blondie’s vocalist Debbie Harry. She worked as a Bunny for nine months before starting the iconic band.
3. They were supposed to write a James Bond theme song
“For Your Eyes Only”, a track on Blondie’s 1981 album ‘The Hunter,’ was initially meant for the James Bond movie of the same name. However, the film’s producers changed their minds and chose a song by Sheena Easton instead.
4. “Rapture” is technically the first rap single to reach number one
As odd as it may sound, the extended rap verse by Debbie on the 1980 song “Rapture” qualifies it as a rap song.
5. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the famous zebra print dress
In one of Debbie’s most recognizable posters, she poses in a zebra print dress that is actually a pillow case she found in the garbage. Money was tight at the time so Debbie and her friends often scavenged through trash to find clothing.
6. Debbie wasn’t always into rock music
Contrary to the image she created for herself, a high-school aged Debbie wasn’t a rocker. She was a cheerleader, and sang in a church choir.
7. She claims to be psychic
In an interview she gave a few years ago, Debbie claimed to have psychic abilities. She even described one of her episodes saying, “one day I started hearing voices coming from a brick fireplace my dad had built, telling me complex mathematical information.” She was just three years old when this incident took place.
8. Drummer Clem Burke was turned down by Patti Smith
Before joining Blondie, drummer Clement “Clem” Burke initially auditioned for Patti Smith’s band but didn’t make the cut. I guess things worked out for the best in the end.
9. Blondie’s hit song “Hanging on the telephone” was written by another band
The successful song from the group’s third album, ‘Parallel Lines’ was written by California pop band The Nerves.
10. The song “Call Me” was meant to be recorded by another iconic artist
The number one hit, and soundtrack to the 1980 film American Gigolo, was originally written by Giorgio Moroder for Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, but Blondie ended up taking it on, and the rest was history.
11. Debbie inspired a character in the 1982 film Blade Runner
When Hampron Fancher was writing the script for the movie he had Debbie in mind to play Pris. Can you imagine how awesome it’d be if she was actually cast?
12. Former bassist Gary “Valentine” Lachman Became a Writer
After his departure from the band, Gary formed The Know and played guitar for Iggy Pop before leaving the music industry to pursue his passion in writing and the occult. He became a successful writer and occult scholar, who has written for major publications like The Guardian. He also penned books in the new-age and conspiracy genre including Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen and Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius.
12. Blondie has never won a Grammy Award
Despite all the number one hits they’ve garnered in the U.S. and the U.K., and selling 40 million records worldwide, Blondie has never won music’s most coveted award. They have, however, received two nominations, one for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group in 1981 and another for Video of The Year in 1982.