This is a rather biased review, as I’ve been a Blondie/Debbie Harry fan since I was a kid. I never knew much about her personally, so reading this was interesting. She writes about her life from birth (adopted at the age of six months) to the present day, and of course writes about the formation, break-up and reunion of her band Blondie. There are a lot of names dropped along the way: David Bowie, Iggy Pop, the Ramones, Andy Warhol, Joan Jett, Jean Michel Basquiat, John Waters, etc. And when I say “dropped”, that’s what I mean. There’s not a lot of overly descriptive passages, or in some cases, emotion. (Her breakup with longtime partner and founding Blondie member Chris Stein is given about five sentences, I think, although she makes it clear throughout the book that they are still very much in each other’s lives.) There’s a “just the facts, ma’am” quality to the writing, which some might find disappointing, but kind of makes sense, because, you know, it’s Debbie Harry. One of my favorite parts of the book was the opening of a chapter that started with: “If you are a woman and you want to feel inadequate and anxious, then get yourself a copy of Vogue and start flipping through it. Works like a charm. It certainly worked that way for me.”
Another review I read expressed disappointment and frustration with the blasé attitude that Harry takes with the sexual harassment (and a couple of outright assaults) she experienced throughout her life. Knowing women who are the same age Harry is now (early 70’s), I think that, unfortunately, women back then just sort of took harassment for granted, and I think that’s the attitude Harry seems to have. On another note, a really fun part of the book is all of the fan art that’s included. Harry has apparently kept it all and it was cool to see it included in the book.