Blondie, From Punk to the Present: A Pictorial History: Compiled by Allan Metz, 512 pages By Dale

Anyone who knows who Deborah Harry is knows what she did for kicking in the door for rock bands that included female members – she was one of the first. This book takes a wide-open look at Blondie’s career – from her very early beginnings amongst her musical peers, who were also seedlings in the ready-bust-out-underground scene in the ‘70s NYC scene – to getting the band Blondie up and going, to breaking up, going solo, and reuniting these days once again. It’s all here. And it’s not so much a bibliography, but more an extensive collection of interviews, essays, and selected Deborah-related reminiscences from music artists (being of their own bands or the ones performing for years with Blondie). But what’s somewhat neato about this book is that it covers a lot of what was influencing and happening all around the band during its formative years, giving the reader a feeling what was really going on back then. Lots and lots of photos throughout this 500+ page monster, including photos from NYC punk’s past shutterbugs Bob Gruen, Stephanie Chernikowski, and Roberta Bayley (who shot that now-priceless roll of film containing the pic for the Ramones’ first LP), and other photographers. I knew for quite some time that Debbie and Joey Ramone were really good pals from the early days of making their up-and-coming rounds at the clubs ‘til Joey passed away in April of 2001. Some people even suggested that Joey and Debbie were romantically involved and my friends and I back in high school always joked about that. We figured if were to be true and they were eventually to get married, then that would then make Debbie’s legal name Deborah Harry-Hyman, ‘cause Joey’s real name was Jeffrey Hyman. It’s gynecologist humor. Go pick up this book and lighten the fuck up. –Designated Dale (Musical Legacy Publications, 2071 East Bennett St., Apt. D-11, Springfield, MO65804; www2.drury.edu/ametz/blonbook.htm)