Chris Stein’s wholesome photographs of Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop, 1977
Having met Iggy Pop while working as a waitress at the infamous New York music venue Max’s Kansas City, Debbie Harry and Blondie’s relationship with the hip shaking punk icon has been unbreakable.
As the New York City punk scene was ramping up to a fever pitch, the who’s who of movement were often found lurking at Max’s either hanging out, drinking, trying to land a slot on stage or, more probably, all of the above. After instantly striking a close bond, Iggy Pop invited the newly formed band Blondie on tour with him as his support act.
The group, formed by then boyfriend and girlfriend creative force Chris Stein and Debbie Harry, were joined by a certain young musician going by the name of David Bowie who was recruited as keyboard player for the tour. “They treated us in a way that was very generous and smart,” Harry reflected on the band’s first major breakthrough tour. “They said, ‘We want the show to be great – for all of us. We want to put on a unified piece.’ And bands were awful to each other at that time.”
Being the highly sexual beings they are, Iggy Pop and Bowie often tried to work their charm on Harry during that tour… but failed: “Debbie was an American ponytail girl as seen through the lens of Roger Vadim; Barbarella on speed, or something like that,” Pop once said when remembering the tour. “Bowie and I both tried to hit on her backstage. We didn’t get anywhere, but she was always very smooth about that. It was always, ‘Hey, well, maybe another time when Chris isn’t around’. Always very cool about it.”
Harry, who recently said that snorting cocaine and seeing Bowie flash his “notorious” cock was a compliment, took the advances of both those rascals in her stride: “Of course,” Harry once said if she was flattered by their attempts to woo her. “It was a lot of fun. They’re two really great stars, musicians and writers that I’ve always admired. The whole thing was mindblowing to be on tour with them in the first place. And to have flirtations with guys like that was just the icing on the cake.”
Remaining close friends in the years that followed, Harry, Iggy Pop, Stein, Bowie and the rest would regularly perform, collaborate and generally live alongside each other from New York to London. Revisiting some of their most memorable moments, we found an old feature from Punk Magazine dating back to 1977 when Stein photographed both Harry and Iggy Pop hanging out at home.