Aidin Vaziri | From Madonna to Gaga and beyond, Debbie Harry provided the template for smart, rebellious pop singers through the ages with her band, Blondie. At 67, she’s still at it. Last year, a reconstituted version of the group featuring original members Harry, guitarist Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke released its ninth studio album, “Panic of Girls.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, on tour with Devo, play two Bay Area dates this week. Harry spoke to us from her home in New York.
Debbie Harry of Blondie
Q: How are the tours different now than they were in 1979?
A: The technology has made it a lot easier than it used to be. It used to be so isolating because the only communication you had was a phone, and it wasn’t in your pocket.
Q: Performing these songs after all this time, do they still mean anything to you, or are you thinking about your dry cleaning when you sing “Heart of Glass”?
A: Absolutely not. It’s always fun. If there’s a song that strikes me as being something that I can’t relate to, then we don’t do it.
Q: So familiarity hasn’t bred contempt?
A: I wanted to just perform the new album in our show. Understandably, audiences want to hear the songs that have a meaning to them from years past. I’m the same way. When I go see Prince, I want to hear “Kiss” or “Raspberry Beret,” and I’m somewhat disappointed if I don’t hear it.