Friday, August 10, 2018

Elda Gentile of the Stilettoes Dies at 68

Sad to hear about the passing of Elda Gentile, a talented artist whose campy 1970s band the Stilettoes spawned a little band called Blondie. 

I spent my childhood so intrigued by Debbie's "old band," but with no internet, information was scant. Chris Stein took some wonderful pictures of the gals -- Elda, Debbie and Amanda Jones seemed to be in all the photos I've see (after Rosie left) -- which I soaked up in "Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie." 

But thanks to the internet -- YouTube, in particular -- I was later able to listen to Elda's work and quickly came to appreciate her singular style. (Her work as Diamond in the Rough was especially memorable.) RIP.

Woody Andrews wrote:
The Stilettoes were a '70s New York City punk band with an extremely raw and energetic stripped-down rough'n'ready sound. The group was formed by lead singer Elda Gentile (a.k.a. Elda Stiletto) in 1972. The original band line-up was: Chris Stein (guitars), Billy O'Connor (drums), Fred Smith (bass), Deborah Harry (vocals), and Rosie Ross (vocals).(By the winter of 1973, Stein says Ross got frustrated and quit, which led to Elda's hiring of Amanda Jones.) Elda and the Stilettoes played in such notable Big Apple punk venues as CBGB's, Club 82, and Max's Kansas City. The group broke up in 1974 after only the female members were offered a record deal. Stein and Harry went on to form the hugely popular and successful New Wave outfit Blondie. Elda Gentile continued with a solo career before reforming the band with an all-new line-up in late 1976. Members of this particular incarnation of the group included Cheetah Chrome, Walter Lure, and Billy Ruth. Elda and the Stilettoes appear as themselves and perform two songs live in the enjoyably sordid exploitation private eye mystery thriller "Punk Rock." The band eventually broke up a second and final time in the late '70s.

Elda had a son with rocker Eric Emerson, whose mysterious death is the stuff of legends ...

Read HERE.

A Blondie superfan remembers his time with Elda ...

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