Debbie Harry's New Memoir Highlights Past Drug Use, Friendship With Bowie

By Victoria Kim 10/01/19

The iconic punk pioneer leaves no stone unturned in her new memoir, Face It.  

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Debbie Harry
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Debbie Harry, the platinum-blonde frontwoman of Blondie, has come out with a new memoir. In Face It, out Tuesday, Harry matter-of-factly recalls her life as a young artist trying to make it in New York City.

Excerpts from her book shed light on the role that drugs played in the iconic singer’s young life.

Harry wasn’t a fan of weed, but would sell it to earn some money. “I couldn’t handle it at all,” she wrote, according to Page Six. “I’d find myself either floating above my body in a state of catatonia or in complete paranoia.”

Cocaine With Bowie And Iggy Pop

Cocaine was not her favorite indulgence, either. “I didn’t care for coke too much—it made me jittery and wired and it affected my throat,” she wrote.

But she had it on hand while on tour with David Bowie and Iggy Pop, giving them a gram when they couldn’t get it elsewhere.

To thank her, Bowie “pulled out his c—k, as if I was the official c—k checker,” Harry wrote. “David’s size was notorious, of course, and he loved to pull it out for men and women. It was so…sexy.”

While her longtime boyfriend, Blondie guitarist Chris Stein, was in the hospital being treated for pemphigus vulgaris (an autoimmune disorder), Harry supplied him with heroin to help him get by.

“I kept him supplied with heroin. He was on heroin the whole time he was in the hospital (three months),” wrote Harry. “It kept him relatively pain-free and mentally less tortured.”

She added, “I was most certainly indulging, too, staying as numb as possible… The heroin was a great consolation. Desperate times, desperate measures, as the cliché goes.”

Assault & Robbery

When Harry and Stein were living on First Avenue and First Street in downtown Manhattan, a man forced his way into their apartment with a knife, tied the couple up and gathered his haul—Stein’s guitars and cameras.

They offered him the LSD they kept in the freezer, but he declined. Then he forced Harry to have sex with him.

Harry recalled that losing their belongings was more painful at the time. “I’m very glad this happened pre-AIDS or I might have freaked,” she wrote. “In the end, the stolen guitars hurt me more than the rape. We had no equipment.”

Harry, now 74, is still the iconic singer of Blondie, which released its 11th studio album, Pollinator, in May 2017. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr