Thursday, August 15, 2019

Song of the Day: 'Ordinary Bummer' by Blondie (aka Adolph's Dog)

(Photo by Eddie Malluk)

Reading Debbie Harry's memoir took me back to Blondie's reformation, something I never dreamed would happen in 1982 when they broke up and I was a sophomore in high school. Jump ahead 15 years: Although I was living in Washington, D.C., at the time, I had no idea that the original five-piece lineup re-formed -- with Gary Valentine playing guitar rather than bass -- and performed at the HFStival at RFK Stadium on May 31, 1997. (Apparently they played at two other outdoor festivals sponsored by local radio stations that summer.) The setlist consisted of "Break on Through (to the Other Side" (Doors cover), "Call Me," "X Offender" (probably for Gary), "Atomic," "Studio 54" (one of the two mediocre demos they had recently recorded with Duran Duran) and "Heart of Glass.

Around the same time, they released a cover of Iggy Pop's "Ordinary Bummer" on the tribute album "We Will Fall: The Iggy Pop Tribute" (1997) under the pseudonym Adolph's Dog, which was chosen when they found out came about as a result of their discovering that Hitler's dog was named Blondi. Although Valentine had come from his home in London for the reunion -- and even crashed at Debbie' apartment in Chelsea -- she writes that something didn't quite click and they opted to record "No Exit" as a foursome, with her longtime solo bassist Leigh Foxx (who had played the reunion shows) and Paul Carbonara on guitar. (Nigel Harrison and Frank Infante, who were part of the classic "Parallel Lines" lineup -- were excluded and sued for future royalties, which a judge ruled against.) 

The first new Blondie release since 1982 ...

In addition to "Studio 54" and "Pop Trash Movie," Blondie also recorded this Gary Valentine-penned song called "Amor Fati," which was never released. If anyone has it, I'd love to hear it. Contact me HERE.

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