Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Song of the Day: 'Kidnapper' (early live take) by Blondie


Great find on the Blondie/Debbie Harry Fan Club Facebook group -- an early live take of "Kidnapper." Not only is it raw and rare, Jimmy Destri, who wrote the song, essentially sings lead with Debbie Harry generously helping out. I've always said two things about my No. 1 group: "Plastic Letters" is my favorite album, and the band just isn't Blondie without Jimmy Destri. Hardcore fans probably won't believe this, but it was only today that I finally put 2 and 2 together and realized "Plastic Letters" is the album of theirs that has the most Destri compositions on it -- a whopping six out of 13, not counting the sublime b-side "Poets Problem." (My guess is band leaders Debbie and Chris Stein had a lot of material ready to go when "Blondie" was recorded, but then were more receptive to other songs when the sophomore release came out a year later. ) 


To be clear, I'm not saying that I think he is necessarily Blondie's best songwriter, although he did write my favorite ("Fan Mail"). But his style has proven to be more distinctive than Harry/Stein, which became painfully clear when the first two comeback albums were released, and nearly every song that sounded like "Blondie" -- rather than Debbie's inferior solo career -- was penned by him. ("Maria," "Nothing Is Real but the Girl" and "Rules for Living" to name a few.) Such a pity that his drug issue -- acquired a million years after his "rock star" heyday -- ended up getting him booted from the band. And an even bigger shame that the others couldn't figure out a way to forgive him, especially given their substance issues in the past.


Wish Destri had performed "Kidnapper" at his solo show at Joe's Pub back in 2012 -- we did get "Accidents Never Happen," however.

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