Friday, January 23, 2009

In the Flesh

It took 30 years to picture this
Now I know she knows
Nothing is real but the girl

Well, if you know me or have spent more than 10 seconds on this blog in the last few years then I'm sure you can imagine how beyond-the-limit happy I am at this second. I just got home from a fundraiser for a school in the East Village, the Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE), that featured Debbie Harry playing some of her biggest hits with the students and faculty, including her former Jazz Passengers bandmate and Roy Nathanson, (THIS is why I wanted to grow up in Manhattan, Mom. Debbie Harry NEVER joined the Rhodes Chorale -- not even once!) As if hearing "Dreaming" (a movie or a measure? you know how these New York liberals roll) , "Heart of Glass," "One Way or Another," "Rapture" and "The Tide Is High" performed by a high school band (with a little help from the junior high, too) with a group of girls singing backup weren't adorable enough, then Debbie came out into the audience and high-fived me during the finale.

Afterward, Michael and I got to meet my girl in detention, where I had her sign my "Autoamerican" songbook. I told her I'd brought the sheet music in the hope that they'd take a request for "T-Birds," which made her laugh and made my life night. Of course I have to mention that she looked absolutely beautiful. (As fate would have it, her hair was very "Autoamerican," one of my favorite "periods.")

I sometimes forget that I actually have met Debbie before, at a Jazz Passengers show at the Bayou Blues Alley in Georgetown (1996, I believe). She was just as sweet then and I got to hang out with her and some other fans where Deb turned to me to help her remember names of her songs ("I don't remember 'The Beast,' which album was that on?") and dates of her concerts. But I didn't have a camera with me (something you'd rarely find me without now), so in a lot of ways it feels like it never even happened. One way or another, tonight was some 30 years in the making and something I'll never forget. A big thank-you to Copiague's (second) finest, Kevin, for making sure I didn't miss this opportunity, and to Michael (Copiague's No. 1) for being such a good sport and taking such great pictures ....

To Kenneth in the (212), Thanks for everything. Debbie Harry
It's not everyday that you see a rock icon on a mimeographed photocopied band program

16 comments:

WickedGayBlog.com said...

Ken,

That is just so awesome and I am so happy for you. She is an icon and a true talent and I love that you met her and got these great photos that you will treasure for a lifetime!

David, WGB

P.S. Now can you get me in a photo with Madonna so my dream comes true too? :O)

John said...

Wow, life just keeps getting better for you! Now how are you going to top that!? I remember first hearing "Rapture" when it was played on General Hospital in Luke's Club back in 1981! And "Heart of Glass" was a song in my disco dance class in 1979! I love Debbie Harry too! Hey, And don't think I didn't get "One way or another..." slipped inside that post! LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing!

Markus said...

Wow - that is amazing! I am an elementary school teacher, and I can't imagine someone like that singing in our school! Great way to start of 2009 - Obama and Debbie!

Sean said...

She wore this outfit when I saw her in Clevland with the Jazz Passengers quite a few years ago. Not to age myself or anything. Did you happen to ask Ms. Deborah anything about future projects or the new Blondie album? Breaking news puhleeze!

Dave in Texas said...

That is amazing! So glad you got to see Debbie. One of my former boyfriends first songs he can ever remember hearing on the radio is "The Tide Is High". Oh, the hazards of dating younger guys now and then...

N said...

You lucky bastard!!

homo-neurotic.com said...

is it true she only answers to "Deborah" Harry now?

David said...

VERY cool. Did you tell her , "Your hair is beautiful!"?

nojarama said...

OMG! My head would have exploded. Glitter & feathers everywhere... I spoke with Debbie once when she was on "Rodney On The ROQ' here in Cali back during the "Debravation" era. I was soooo nervous, that I sounded like a 12-year old Marcia Brady trying to speak to Davey Jones. Congrats!!!

Keith said...

You saw Debbie's and the Jazz Passengers at Blue's Alley with me. During intermission, you grabbed my hand and said, "Ok, we are going to act like we have to use the restroom, but we are going to walk into Debbie's dressing room." My initial reaction was, "What? Are you nuts, we will get kicked out." But, we both walked up, we walked right in to her dressing room, sat down on the couch and just started talking to her. I was dumbfounded. Then two other "fans" came in and asked about some obscure song and wanted to know what album it could be found. Debbie looked confused, like "how the hell am I suppose to remember that." You quickly saved her by saying, "It was never released as a single or on any album. It is only available on the London concert video which is hard to find these days."

Then she shooed us out because "she had to use the restroom."

ScreamingSkin said...

Wow! So glad you got proof this time, hehe! I too have met 'the great one' a few times and each and every time she has been a total sweetheart! I love 'T-Birds', but I love her laugh even more....

Scooter said...

LUCKY LUCKY you! I sooooooooo love her. Not just a diva but a good person, too!

Van said...

I am *so* jealous. I officially hate you now. Kidding, of course. Good for you.

My one claim to fame is that Debbie cruised me at Balducci's 15 years ago. When I realized it was her behind those sunglasses and that scarf looking me all up and down, I nearly fell out - OMFG - that's Deborah Harry checking me out! If I wasn't carrying a huge smoked turkey at the time, I'd have chatted her up.

Way more exciting than accidentally knocking Ivana Trump down whilst walking very quickly past the residential entrance of Trump Tower. *sudden overwhelming floral scent* Damn, I just knocked over Ivana. Damn, she's wearing a lot of makeup.

fairygodmother said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! I can only imagine what it must have felt like. I hope I have as much luck as you and get to meet some of my favorite icons. Very happy for you.

mattrett said...

LOL, I want to hear more about that Jazz Passengers invasion! The pic is great! The pic I have with her, she's pissed but it comes across as mysteeerious. And the time I met her when I actually got to converse with her, it was technically for work so would've been awkward. Love huh.

Alan Bennett Ilagan said...

Congrats on a dream come true! I'm all sorts of envious...

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