Blondie’s Debbie Harry talks “WAP,” Trump, Van Morrison, Miley, Toots Hibbert & more
Blondie's Debbie Harry has tackled tons of hot topics in a new interview with NME, including "WAP," Trump, Van Morrison's COVID-denying views, Miley Cyrus' Blondie cover (which has gone viral on TikTok), the Black Lives Matter movement, the upcoming Blondie album, and more.
Blondie recently wished Cardi B Happy Birthday on Twitter. What did you make of the biggest video of the year ‘WAP’?
“Oh yeah, I love it! I LOVE it!”
Do any of the criticisms of it – such as Russell Brand saying their outfits and image panders to the patriarchy – remind you of the sexism that was written about you when you first started out?
“Well, I guess yeah. You know, everybody has to say something. If there’s something to be said, someone will say it. Whether you agree with it or not is another story. Cardi B is outrageous and she’s overtly sexual, so ‘Wet Ass Pussy’ is quintessential Cardi B. It’s very sexy and hot and naughty – perhaps even dirty – and the good thing is it hasn’t been censored. At first I was going: ‘Wow, I wish I could do something like that’, knowing full well that I couldn’t. But I wish I could!”
On Van Morrison: "He’s a wonderful, extraordinary talent, but he’s also completely mad. I mean, he has a history of very strange behaviour so it doesn’t really surprise me. And after all, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. As far as conspiracy goes… huh! If this is a conspiracy, then the biggest fucking genius in the world has created it! I mean, that is insane."
On Trump: "White supremacists respect him not necessarily for himself but because he’s achieved the presidency. There’s a lot of kudos that hangs on the word ‘president’. A lot of people fall for him, but this is not a good guy."
On Black Lives Matter: "Of course you know my heart is with the protestors and since I have been so greatly and positively influenced by Black artists and music, it couldn’t be any other way. It baffles me, in this day and age, how anybody could not be forward-thinking and realise that Black Lives Matter. In this country and the UK, immigration and migration of different cultures always benefits us artistically and creatively. It’s a stimulus, and adds to the greatness of humanity."
On Miley Cyrus' "Heart of Glass" cover: "I thought she did a great job and I liked the way the performance looked and she’s a force to be reckoned with. I’m really proud of the fact she did our song and made it uniquely hers."
On Blondie's upcoming 12th album; "We’ve talked about it and there’s some stuff in demo form, but we haven’t nailed it down because we haven’t been able to go into the studio. The songs aren’t totally shaped."
Read more at NME.
I can’t remember specifically when Toots first came into my life, but I was immediately really turned on by the music. I’m a huge fan of Toots to this day. In the ’70s, we had a gig down in Austin, and we saw Bob Marley play a show. I was so excited by the response and the reception the music was getting. I’ve been watching this fabulous Bob Marley documentary series on TV, and there’s several interview clips with Toots. I love his whole ambiance and facade. There was a sweetness to him, and in a way, it reminded me of Flavor Flav.
Chris Stein said, "Toots was great, man. He really deserved more of a boost in his lifetime," and he later added, "I was always a really huge fan, and those guys [Toots and the Maytals] should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago. I don’t know if he’ll get in posthumously, but it’s way overdue. They were hugely influential." Chris also mentioned that Blondie and Toots had discussed doing a version of The Paragons' 1967 rocksteady classic "The Tide Is High" (which was also a hit for Blondie in 1980) together, but that it never panned out.
Vulture's new Toots feature also includes tributes from Ziggy Marley, Ben Harper, Shaggy, Bonnie Raitt, Zak Starkey, and more, and you can read that here.