Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Visit to the Blondie Exhibit at Chelsea Hotel

My favorite photo -- so candid, and so not seen before!

Felt like Christmas morning -- getting an import 12" single of  "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence Dear" from my mom -- attending the Blondie exhibition at the Chelsea Hotel Storefront Gallery Saturday night with my friend Tim Teeman. While as a superfan I could complain about a few things -- if Chris Stein really shot so many photos of  Debbie and the band back in the day, why are so many of the images in his new book ones we've seen so many times? (even the cover image of his NEW BOOK is rehashed! -- it was arguably the perfect presentation for medium to casual fans who may have missed some of these gems the first few (hundred) times around. Photos by Bob Gruen, Annie Leibovitz, Roberta Bayley, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bobby Grossman, Mick Rock, David Godlis, as well as Stein, plus vintage T-shirts and a display case filled with ephemera, made for a fascinating visit. And sure, the videos they had playing on a loop started to replay while we were there -- and we weren't there THAT long: this is a band that released the first-ever VIDEO ALBUM, so why not include all of their videos?! -- but I hadn't been in a room that was covered from wall to wall in Blondie memorabilia since I was a teenage boy in Arizona, so what's not to love?

Best of Blondie dress

I've been to a foam party at the Palladium back in the day, but can you imagine this?!

Debbie meets Duckie Dale

This must be from when Deb and Chris appeared on Glenn O'Brien's cable-access show, "TV Party." He's The Style Guy for GQ now

Always the hottest Blondie boy, who knew Clem could be so coquettish? 

Was she on E?

Remember what Debbie said about insuring her Warhol?

Tab Hunter was still dreamy when he shot "Polyester," for which Debbie and Chris provided the soundtrack. This was, like many, in "Making Tracks" though

There was a back room dedicated to "fan art," which apparently includes fans of Bea Arthur

My friend Tim had never seen the "Island of Lost Souls" video -- one of the handful they selected to play -- and probably wishes he never did. (OMG!)

I was so swept up on the moment that I broke down and bought the band's new double LP, which is one disc of re-recorded classics (yuck) and one disc of new stuff (mostly yuck), but includes a bonus DVD of a classic 1977 performance at CBGB during which Debbie rocked a pair of Coca-Cola pants!

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