Posts Tagged 'Andy Warhol'

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry’s been stalking me of late. Maybe it’s the result of listening to more BBC Radio 6 Music. Maybe not. Either way, the tracks of Blondie have been creating an aural backdrop to my recent life. No surprise then that this has led to a bit of site related research, and yet another network of uncovered skiffy connections.

The song ‘Rapture’ is the closest pass to the genre during her time with Blondie – its proto rap about an all-consuming man from Mars being an obvious example. Beyond that though, there are enough additional crossovers to pinpoint her sci-fi identification throughout the 1980s.

Film wise there’s the inevitable inclusion of Nicki Brand from David Cronenberg’s Videodrome (1983) and Harry’s portrayal of an overstimulated radio DJ who becomes a disciple of the ‘new flesh’. Before this however, there’s a stranger unification that occurred at the start of her solo career and the 1981 album Kookoo. Teaming up with Swiss artist H.R. Giger she created a series of avant garde videos which wouldn’t look out of place to contemporary Bjork or Fever Ray fans. Speaking on BBC’s Newsnight that same year – and sporting a haircut that seems to prefigure Gigi Edgley’s in Farscape – she explains her desire to establish herself as an artist rather than a pop star. There is, however, another link that she didn’t discuss openly until last year when she admitted that she turned down the role of Pris in Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner.

She’s always had that nerdcore level of respect – posing for Andy Warhol to generate a live digital portrait of her on an Amiga 1000 in 1985 being just one case in point. But creating sci-fi rap before Dr Octagon, appearing in a meta video nasty, turning down an iconic femme fatal… And she’s still rocking it and holding up her geek credentials at last year’s SXSW. If there was ever a queen of sci-fi pop, it has to be Ms Harry.

Or maybe I’m being dated and myopic. Drop me a line in comments if you can come up with a better contender.

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