Thursday, April 10, 2008

Still Radiating


While I haven't written much on Blondie here, the impact they had on me growing up and in my adult life is immeasurable. "The Tide Is High" was the first 45 I ever owned and Debbie Harry's Rockbird was one of the first albums I ever saved up for specifically to buy. The music of Chris Stein, Clem Burke and Jimmy Destri combined with the razor sharp wit and intelligence of Debbie's lyrics formed a big part of the soundtrack to my life.
I just found out that Blondie are hitting the road again to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Parallel Lines and I wish them all the luck in the world with it. While I prefer the early rawness of Plastic Letters and the dark paranoia of The Hunter, there is no denying that Parallel Lines is one of the most perfectly crafted and performed rock albums of the seventies. From the opening blast of "Hangin on the Telephone" to Robert Fripp's astounding guest spot on "Fade Away and Radiate" to the put down finale of "Just Go Away", Parallel Lines is a perfect album that captured the band at their confident best. I have no doubt it will sound awesome live.
I just saw Blondie once, on their No Exit tour, about a decade ago and it was a phenomenal show. While they have all aged, they still put on one of the most exciting shows you can see. I even met Debbie once, after a Jazz Passengers gig, and I must admit it was the only time I have ever been nearly speechless in front of someone.
I hope I get to see the tour and I would like it to be a huge success for them. Many of my happiest moments have been spent in the company of a Blondie record and those moments will never fade away for me.

10 comments:

Rogue Spy 007 said...

I've been a big Blondie fan since I first heard them in the record collection of an older female cousin. I've never had a chance to see them live. They have had so many good songs throughout their career.

Aaron Lee said...

The big moment for me, as a kid, was seeing them perform "Dreaming" on Saturday Night Live (or was it Fridays?). Your post makes me want to hear more Blondie. I really appreciate your ability to dig up fun stuff to revisit; just last week, I watched "Eyes of Laura Mars" for the first time in 20 years (at your recommendation)! Keep it up.

Steve Langton said...

Here's another big Blondie fan. One of those bands whose songs really take me back to certain times in my life. Drinks after work in the pub when every other song on the juke box seemed to be a Blondie track, and appearances on English tv shows and, of course, the new single/album. Never got to see them live, though I did catch Debbie's unplugged tour which was great fun.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Keith,
If you ever get the chance to see them, they put on a great show.

Thanks so much Aaron for the very nice thoughts. Dreaming was a major moment for me as well. Hope you enjoyed revisiting Eyes Of Laura Mars! Thanks again...

Thanks Steve for the terrific memories...what was Debbie's unplugged tour like? Did she do a mixture of solo and Blondie tracks???

Steve Langton said...

They were all solo trakcs, Jeremy. Bit disappointing that she didn't play any Blondie stuff, but got to respect her for that in some ways perhaps.

Dave S said...

'parallel lines'... my favourite album by my favourite band. i was completely obsessed by debbie and her bandmates when i was a teen (and i still kinda am). even managed to see them on 'the hunter' tour, and the concert i caught was taped by hbo and recently released on dvd. i'll have to check into their 30th anniversary tour (man, i feel old now) and see if i can catch 'em again... thanks for acknowledging one of my biggest influences! "blondie is a band"

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Steve,
Debbie's solo stuff is hit and miss (that said I love those first three solo platters by her) but still that must have been a special show.

Thanks Dave for the great personal memories...I also just added a link to Bloody Terror for you. Sorry I hadn't before...

Dave S said...

Hey thanks for the link, Jeremey. I'm honoured. And I just bought a ticket to catch the Parallel Lines tour at the venue closest to me (i.e. not close at all) in Orillia, Ontario. Thanks for the heads up about Blondie hitting the road. And, in my last comment, I meant to say... "Blondie is a Group"!

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Dave,
No problem on the link...my pleasure. I have tickets for the Louisville stop and am already super psyched...it is turning out to be a good concert year for me with Costello earlier this week, Lou Reed next and then Blondie later this summer!

Dave S said...

just returned from seeing them, and i have to say that they blew me away (despite the absence of some 'original' members). i'd like to think that the concert i saw last night was similar to what they would've been doing in '78 before 'parallel lines' broke big. anyway, they've still got, and hearing those tunes live reminded me of how vital they were/are and of how fresh they still sound. god bless you, blondie!