Seven Things You Probably Never Knew About… Blondie
If I said the three things to you – Punk, 80s and New York – what’s the one band that would come first to your mind? The Ramones? Ok, maybe. Beastie Boys? Yea, if you want to use the term “punk” so liberally. If any one band described these three words so beautifully, it would have to Blondie. Formed actually in the Mid-70’s, the four-man and one very legendary blond band has a sound, style and swagger the kids today just can’t copy. I mean, when was the last time you heard Katy Perry struggling to make an outfit for a shoot and had to go dumpster-diving to make it happen?!?!
So you danced your butt off to Heart of Glass, cried your eyes out to Maria and probably tried desperately to understand what the hell were the lyrics to Rapture (seriously, it’s been nearly 40 years and people still don’t know it), but how well do you really know Blondie? As part of our radiovolo series, here’s seven things we bet you never knew…
1.They Didn’t Call It Blondie for Nothing
The bands originally name if you can believe it was The Angle and the Snake. Founded by Chris Stein and Debbie Harry as a Bohemian downtown New York band in the 70’s, the band officially changed its name to Blondie thanks to one too many catcalls Debbie kept getting from guys on the street!
2.America Just Didn’t Care for Blondie (At First…)
It might have looked like an overnight success now 40 years later, but if you can take yourself away from your LSD-fuelled haze of the 80s, you’ll be surprised to learn Blondie just couldn’t get a hit in America when they launched! First was the Song “Denis” that got way more traction in the UK and Holland than America in 1975. Then it was “Sunday Girl” which hit #1 on UK AND Australian Charts in 1979 but never released as a single in America. Come on USA – Where was the love???
3.America REALLY Just Didn’t Care for Blondie
If anyone knows shade and how to take it, it sure as hell was Blondie. Nominated twice (Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (1981) and the other for Video of The Year (1982)) for a Grammy – the holy grail of music industry awards in America, the band never successfully won the award! So with that, oh glorious Grammy Association, Ms. Harry says:
5.There’s a reason there’s no “Call Me” Blondie Album
One of Blondie’s most iconic songs “Call Me” actually never appeared on a Blondie album! Written by Giorgio Moroder, the song was only ever officially released on the soundtrack for the film American Gigolo.
6.That song “Call Me”? Yea…It was meant for Stevie Nicks
Throwing more industry shade the Blondie way, they’re famous hit “Call Me” was originally not even meant for the band! Songwriter Giorgio Moroder originally had Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks in mind to sing it. But eventually he ended up finishing the song with Blondie, and the rest was sweet, sweet music history.
7.Heart of Glass Was Not (I Repeat: NOT) Shot at Studio 54
We’ve all heard the stories of New York’s famed & legendary music, drugs and debauchery pit known as Studio 54. If you were alive, cool, and knew you were cool, it was THE place to be in New York in the late 70s, and you better believe Blondie was there. As a bit of an Ode to the famed hot spot, Heart of Glass just happens to feature a shot from the club. But that’s about it! Debbie Harry: “Everyone’s always thought the music video was shot in the club, but not true. We just used a shot of it from one of their videos and then did our own thing.”
Amadou is an American-raised, Hong Kong-based writer, communicator, and all-around lover of travel & food. He speaks four foreign languages and loves recommending new and exciting things to people whenever they go somewhere new. When not managing his day job, you’ll probably find him at a happy hour or at the park with his Maltese Terrier, Maxx.