Debbie Harry, one of my favorite artists since I discovered her via my cousin in the late '70s, turns 70 years old today.
Like other great chanteuses of the past, she is still touring at age 70. Unlike, say, Peggy Lee, she's not just making appearances, she's bopping around the stage and thrashing her head about, continuing to do the punk rock.
I've seen Blondie perform live so many times at this point, I've lost track. Which is a good thing, and which is a thing I could not have dreamed (even if dreaming was free) in the late '80s, when I first got into them as a group. They were broken up and I was in Flushing, Michigan.
Now, they're not. And I'm not.
Thanks to a freebie ticket, I wound up in the old-persons' seats (great view, side loge).
Excitingly, Debbie spoke about SCOTUS, and ended their set by wrapping herself in the Gay Pride flag:
Debbie sounded great and had a sort of '6os-via-'90s bubblegum-pink dress on. She's turning 70 shortly. Hard to fathom Peggy Lee running around on the stage like Debbie, much less doing the punk rock. They played all their most essential hits and some great new-ish numbers, but I missed the first couple of songs because the geezers went on promptly at 8 p.m. It's okay, I feel I am in geezer territory myself.
Blondie was opening for Morrissey. Never been very into him. “Suedehead” (1988) might be my favorite (he did a great rendition of it two songs in), but I knew I was hoping against hope that I'd get The Smiths' “Girlfriend in a Coma” (1987). I did not.
Morrissey is not exactly a royal-watcher ...!
Morrissey sounds great but without an organic love of his songs, it was a tough slog for me. I appreciated his positive remark about SCOTUS, wasn't as into his sung belief that voting just supports a corrupt system (he isn't into Bernie or Hillary, just Jon Stewart or Bill Maher) and had to look away from the extensive videos of animals being destroyed for meat as he sang “Meat Is Murder” KFC Version. I'm with him for the most part; it's unconscionable how we kill animals to eat, and I gave up eating pigs and cows long ago. But it's also just too hard to watch. That kind of thing instills in me a despair that is lasting.
The night ended oddly, with Morrissey unceremoniously removing his shirt, bowing slightly and disappearing. Lights up.
At one point, Morrissey joked he was shy and said he must've been 12 when he played MSG 24 years ago.
So, as you know, I like to take surreptitious photos of people (okay, men) in public places and post them on my Instagram. It's legal and it's artistic and it's hot and I am resilient to accusations of being a creeper; so what if I am? I have 100,000s of images of men in NYC from the past decade that one day will be in a museum ... of some kind.
Well, tonight I got my wish, which was to be deemed worthy of being photographed in the same way. Of course, the reason I was photographed was my outstanding taste in music, not my outstanding physique, but the kicker is that Vince Clarke's wife was my creeper; she shot my back while I was (frantically) picking up my Blondie/Morrissey tickets tonight.
The only reason I ever knew this is that my old pal from my Jersey days, accomplished journalist Lori Majewski, spotted me in our press seats and just happened to have seen the Instagram post.