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BOOK REVIEW: FACE IT by Debbie Harry

| 31 August 2020 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: FACE IT by Debbie Harry

Harper Collins Australia
October 2019
Hardback, $45
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar



Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry delivers a fascinating memoir with Face It, but somehow, in all the retelling of her life and times, she still manages to retain her privacy and mystique.

She’s an enigmatic figure, that’s for sure. From her childhood confusion at being adopted, through teen years and young adulthood struggling to get her big break and even, famously, working as a Playboy Club bunny waitress, she documents how her talents fermented with time and experience, eventually coalescing in the global success of Blondie.

Her story certainly doesn’t end there. The chronic mystery illness which almost killed long-time lover and bandmate Chris Stein, the mismanagement of the band which left them with enormous, crushing debt, her acting career, and her rebirth as a solo artist and – eventually – reincarnating Blondie are all explored.

Harry explains how art and punk rock were essential sparks to the fire that was Blondie, and doesn’t shy away from her use of hard drugs, casually admitting the pros and cons of her use of heroin and other substances.

Through this long, convoluted tale Harry exudes cool – specifically, Noo Yawk cool – drops names like crazy from punk and new wave icons, rock gods and filmmaking legends, details her brush with serial killer Ted Bundy, her and Stein’s attempt to clean their blood of drugs in Europe, and so much more.

She shares fan art of her, collected over years touring the world, and admits that, as was the constant case as a child, her primary goal is to find out more about who she really is. It’s a mission which remains unsuccessful, but one hell of a journey to undertake with her.

Category: Book Reviews

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