Debbie Harry is September’s Garden State Playmate!
When a sultry blonde female begs you to “Call Me,” One Way or Another I would hope that you do it. I’ll feel bad if she leaves you Hanging on the Telephone, but that only proves that she has a Heart of Glass. You’d probably feel better if you met up with her In The Flesh and Ripped Her to Shreds but you couldn’t bring yourself to do it because she’s still your Sunday Girl. You should probably just make up and bring her to the Jersey Shore when the Tide is High.
In the slim chance that you are completely brain dead, you may not have noticed that the previous paragraph is speckled with references to songs made famous by Blondie. And yes, Blondie is a band, but their name is also synonymous with their iconic lead singer Debbie Harry. September’s Garden State Playmate was born in Miami, Florida but grew up in Hawthorne, NJ where she graduated high school. Harry holds a degree from Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ and later became a dancer in Union City, NJ. Her sexy and smart attitude and NJ roots make her an obvious selection for GSP.
Harry, a former Playboy Bunny, was best known for her music but she has starred in a long list of movies as well. Some of her well known performances include Union City (filmed in Jersey), Roadie, Rock and Rule, Videodrome, and Tales from the Darkside; The Movie. In addition to films, Harry has made many TV guest appearances on The Muppet Show, and Pete and Pete (a beloved NJ show) among others.
Music stars from Madonna to Gwen Stefani can all owe a debt of gratitude to Debbie Harry for paving the way for modern female pop-rock singers. Believe it or not, she and her bandmates are often cited as early pioneers of hip-hop music on MTV. Her band is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she’s had her own Barbie doll, and in 1983, Harry starred in Teaneck Tanzi, The Venus Flytrap, a wrestling themed Broadway play. Even with the star power of the inter-gender wrestling champion, the mighty Andy Kaufman, and with a township in Bergen County, NJ as it’s namesake, it closed after only one performance. Harry has stated in an interview with The Gothamist that one of the reasons she took the role was because she was a big fan of pro wrestling at the time! Blondie is presently on tour and will join The Pretenders for several shows in Australia in November.
*Blondie’s next album Panic of Girls is slated to be released very soon. Check out the official Blondie website for the latest news.
Blondie’s “Union City Blue” Video
The video for Blondie’s “Union City Blue,” released in 1979, was filmed right on the docks in Union City, NJ. The track was featured in Oliver Stone’s 1981 horror film The Hand and it’s also been covered by Radiohead and The Black Kids w/ Cut Copy. Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry grew up in Hawthorne, NJ and was once a dancer in Union City. If you’ve never visited New Jersey, this video provides you with some magnificent scenic visuals. Note to self: that didn’t sound anywhere near as dryly sarcastic as intended. Also of note, Union City is the site of The Park Theater where a few of New Jersey’s most prominent pop culture moments have taken place, namely the recording of George Carlin’s “What Am I Doing in New Jersey?”