Louis Jacinto Photo Column—Gary Valentine, The Know

Feb 01, 2020

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Wanting Your Own Band

Gary Valentine was an original member of Blondie but just before the release of their second album, he was out of the group.

He moved to Los Angeles and formed The Know, a power pop trio along with Richard d’Andrea and Joel Turrisi.  Though not punk, they also weren’t what was being played on the radio at the time.

I always wondered why Gary left the band so the other night while in a bookstore, I quickly scanned Debbie Harry’s new autobiography and found her version— Gary wanted to have his own band so the Blondie manager fired him.

Of course, as is the case too often, as soon as he was out of the band the third album came out and Blondie was at the top of the record charts.

The Know played endlessly in Los Angeles but could never get the record deal any band wanted during those times. Their shows were tight, fast, and loud.