Yesterday I was fortunate enough to interview rock legend Debbie Harry as she travels around North America on tour promoting Necessary Evil, her first solo album in fourteen years [buy it here]. The whole time we talked I was struck with the profound sense of how I will never be as cool as she is, but I managed to hold it together long enough to ask her a few questions:
Frank: Some reviews of ‘Necessary Evil’ have described it as your most personal album ever. What’s your take on that?
Debbie Harry: Probably. It’s up to date at least, anyway.
F: It seems you’ve made yourself more vulnerable in your lyrics?
DH: Perhaps. They are I guess more personal, more specific.
F: How has the touring experience changed for you since earlier in your career?
DH: It seems easier, you know, the circuits and promoters are all hooked up. The business is better organized than it once was. It’s not like you’re wondering if you’re going to get paid at night. It’s not like the Wild West anymore.
Read the rest of the interview and see Debbie’s remaining tour dates after the jump!
F: Do you have any nostalgia for the Wild West days at all?
DH: Nostalgia? A funny story is a funny story. I’m not fond of nostalgia that much. I remember people telling me about having to carry guns to get paid. So you see, the gangsta rappers don’t have it all!
F: There is a rumor that Michel Gondry is directing your biopic. Any truth to that?
DH: It’s just a rumor at this stage in the game.
F: What do you think about Kirsten Dunst playing you?
DH: I don’t really know. She seems very sweet. I don’t know if she has enough rough edges. She’s always played nice characters in the films I’ve seen.
F: If you could have any actress play you, who would it be?
DH: I haven’t got a clue.
F: How do you feel about CBGBs closing?
DH: I guess it’s you know, sad… a lot of great bands came out of there. I think the legacy that Hilly left behind to creativity and fresh new music was a very important thing . At the time when he opened it, bands couldn’t really get a job playing unless you played top 40.
F: When was the last time you played CBGB’s?
DH: The next to the last night. The Saturday.
F: How did it feel?
DH: Kind of sad.
F: what songs did you play?
DH: I don’t remember…
F: I saw you on tour a few years ago with the B52s. Do you have any good stories about Fred Schneider and touring with them?
DH: That was a great tour, a lot of fun. No problems with that one. Everyone was very respectful of one another. It was a great rock’n’roll tour.
F: How long have you known B52s?
DH: Since the mid-70s.
F: Is their song “Debbie” really about you?
DH: Yes, it is.
F: Any hair dye tips for our readers?
DH: [chuckles] No… I’ve made a few mistakes over the years. The one thing I’ve learned is that hair just keeps growing back.
F: Anything to say to your Canadian fans?
DH: I usually just come up and do other stuff, promo… I’m happy to be playing finally. That’s the best part.
Debbie Harry’s Necessary Evil TOUR DATES [Buy tickets here]
11/16, Miami, FL (Jackie Gleason Theatre)
11/17, Tampa, FL (Tampa Theatre)
11/20, Milwaukee, WI (Turner Hall)
11/23, Toronto, ON (Phoenix Theater)
11/24, Indianapolis, IN (Vogue)
11/27, Tulsa, OK (Brady Theater)
11/28, Dallas, TX (House of Blues)
11/30, Kansas City, MO (Ameristar Casino)
12/1, Denver, CO (Bluebird Theatre)
12/4, Anaheim, CA (House of Blues)
12/7, Los Angeles, CA (Henry Fonda Theater)
12/8, Las Vegas, NV (Santa Fe Station Casino)
12/9, San Francisco, CA (The Fillmore)
[Buy Necessary Evil]
[Debbie Harry official website]