Debbie Harry

Jenny Turner at the LRB:

One great thing about Harry in Blondie was exactly this tension: she could look and sound so sweet and doll-like, but she was obviously and unapologetically a woman with a past. Another was the dynamic she had, so pale and starry, with her dark-haired, bridge-and-tunnelly band. Her outfits helped too, weird shapes and garish colours in nasty synthetic fabrics that looked like they came – and from what the book says, probably did – from a bargain bin in the Bowery: the big shirt that kept falling off the shoulder, what with all the awkward dancing; the harsh turquoise suit and shirt and tie; the ripply grey one-armed chiffon, worn with mules and thick black tights. The hair kept changing, though it was always blonde and afloat with static, stripped and dyed within an inch of its life. Sometimes it was big and thick and exhausting-looking. Sometimes it was shorter and lighter, in a bob. Usually you saw roots, a thick black skunk-stripe even. ‘Being a bleached blonde for so many years,’ Harry writes, ‘has made me acutely aware of what healthy hair looks like.’ There’s a picture in the book of a family Christmas in New Jersey, with her hair in its undyed colour, a plain, flat brown.

more here.