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“That’s Clem and Debbie right on 14th Street, probably in 1976 or ’77. Debbie’s blowing a plastic bird whistle. Everybody’s staring at them. They look striking; I don’t think anyone quite looked like that at the time.”
Blondie guitarist C. Stein shares a look at life captured through his lens. On the occasion of Blondie’s fortieth anniversary, Chris Stein shares his iconic and mostly unpublished photographs of Debbie Harry and the cool creatures of the ’70s and ’80s New York rock scene.
In photos and stories direct from Stein, Negative provides a fascinating snapshot of the period before and during Blondie’s huge rise, by someone who was part of and who helped to shape the early punk music scene—at CBGB, Andy Warhol’s Factory, and early Bowery. Stars such as David Bowie, the Ramones, Joan Jett, and Iggy Pop were part of Stein’s world, as were fascinating downtown characters like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Hell, Stephen Sprouse, Anya Phillips, Divine, and many others. As captured by one of its greatest artists and instigators, and designed by Shepard Fairey, this book is a must-have celebration of the new-wave and punk scene, whose influence on music and fashion is just as relevant today as it was four decades ago.
This was in our apartment on 17th street of Sixth Avenue that burned down. We were on tour and my mother called me up and said:”Listen, don’t get upset, but your house burned down.” We never lived there again. We went back and staged that. Allegedly that’s Marilyn Monroe’s dress that she’s wearing, but we can’t prove it.”
This is from a video shoot from one of our songs called: ”Picture This.” For me, I like that she’s isolated in the image. It’s something a little about the fame syndrome-It’s kind of isolating in a way.”
This was taken really early on. It was during the ”idiot” tour with Iggy Pop in 1977. Bowie, who was a huge star then, was backing Iggy up and offering support playing keyboards in his band, so that was kind of a big deal. I think they both wanted to get out around America and see the punk scene that was emerging that year, too. He didn’t know about my photography skills at the time, so I was only able to get two shots of him.”
”That’s from one of the U.K. tabloids, The Sun. To a certain extent, tabloid journalism was invented in the U.K. When I was a kind, The National Enquirer was about car crashes and murder. It wasn’t about celebrities secrewing up. I don’t know when the transition was, but I feel like the tabloid mentality existed in the U.K. first.”
-Plastic Letters- outtake, Los Angeles, Circa 1977.
LAST DAY! Don’t miss it!
Blondie’s 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Hosted by Jeffrey Deitch at Chelsea Hotel Storefront Gallery, NY
.“A Blondie Exhibition” runs though Sept. 29 at the Chelsea Hotel Storefront Gallery (222 West 23rd Street). The exhibit is free and open to the public, from 1-8 p.m.
It’s truly a CAN’T MISS for fans of Blondie, art dealers and collectors, music fans and purveyors of New York City cool alike!