Face It
‘I was saying things in songs that female singers didn’t really say back then. I wasn’t submissive or begging him to come back, I was kicking his ass, kicking him out, kicking my own ass too. My Blondie character was an inflatable doll but with a dark, provocative, aggressive side. I was playing it up, yet I was very serious.’ BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL AND BORN TO BE PUNK DEBBIE HARRY is a musician, actor, activist and the iconic face of New York City cool. As the front-woman of Blondie, she and the band forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock, punk, disco, reggae and hip-hop to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time. As a muse, she collaborated with some of the boldest artists of the past four decades. The scope of Debbie Harry’s impact on our culture has been matched only by her reticence to reveal her rich inner life – until now.In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and stunning visuals that includes never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It upends the standard music memoir while delivering a truly prismatic portrait. With all the grit, grime, and glory recounted in intimate detail, Face It recreates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.Following her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie’s break-up as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than thirty films, a stunning solo career and the triumphant return of her band, and her tireless advocacy for the environment and LGBTQ rights, Face It is a cinematic story of a woman who made her own path, and set the standard for a generation of artists who followed in her footsteps – a memoir as dynamic as its subject.

Face It Details

TitleFace It
Author
ReleaseOct 1st, 2019
PublisherHarperCollins
Rating
GenreMusic, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography

Face It Review

  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting, but lackluster memoir You never know what you are going to get when you start reading a memoir, but it is always hard to write a review for one you feel a little underwhelmed or disappointed with. So, fans of Debbie Harry, those who will brook no criticism of her, maybe you’ll want to skip this review. I can seem judgmental, more so with a memoir than with a biography written by a third party or a ghost writer. That’s not really my intent, but I’ve been told I come off sounding that Interesting, but lackluster memoir You never know what you are going to get when you start reading a memoir, but it is always hard to write a review for one you feel a little underwhelmed or disappointed with. So, fans of Debbie Harry, those who will brook no criticism of her, maybe you’ll want to skip this review. I can seem judgmental, more so with a memoir than with a biography written by a third party or a ghost writer. That’s not really my intent, but I’ve been told I come off sounding that way. Still, these are my personal thoughts and I’m going to be straight up honest about them. I desperately wanted to like this book. I couldn’t wait for my library to get a copy, so I listened to the audio on Scribd without the benefit of having a digital or print book to complement it- something I rarely do. At first, I enjoyed listening to Debbie's narration. Being from Texas I don’t get to hear accents like hers too often, and she narrated the book with such an unusual cadence, I was mesmerized by her voice for a while. But by the second full day of audio, her tone seemed flat and impersonal with little or no emotion or inflection. I really struggled to stay focused on it at times. As to the format and organization, Debbie gets off to a good start, talking about her childhood, her road to success, and the atmosphere in New York during the seventies, which was bursting with creativity and artistry, but was also a dark, dangerous, terrifying city that was going broke. Out of this tough environment punk and new wave carved out a fitting niche. Forget corporate rock and bloated songs showcasing guitar and drum solos! As a result, readers will soon learn the one thing Debbie DOESN’T do is gentrification. Unfortunately, after getting off to such a good start, Debbie occasionally lost her train of thought, and her tight chronological format unraveled, and she started to insert odd little antidotes and wandering off course, playing around with timelines, which is something that rarely works for me with a biography or memoir. As to my personal views-I always liked Blondie. The music was catchy with a crossover appeal and I thought Debbie Harry was the perfect front person for the group. I can’t say I was a super fan and up until now I knew very little about Debbie from a personal standpoint. I had heard she had a drug addiction, but other than that I couldn’t have told one other thing about her. As such, much of what was revealed in her memoir was news to me and I did find her background to be quite interesting. She did reveal one very shocking detail in her life that left me feeling shaken and was the most harrowing moment in the book. (I’m not talking about her alleged encounter with a serial killer- although she does mention that episode in the book)Excepting that one intensely personal and brave revelation, Debbie remained aloof for the most part. While I realize she plays up her sex appeal, and that is a big part of her stage persona, I was a bit surprised by her strong reliance on her outer appearance, and how, despite believing her music was cutting edge, and that she was standing up to men, and for herself, through her music, she placed a very heavy emphasis on her looks and sex kitten persona rather than on her talent. I was disappointed by that and wish she had relayed a stronger stance against the misogyny in the male dominated and controlled music business. In fact, she went out of her way to avoid that subject, explaining that she just put up with it and got on with what she needed to do- which is a cycle we are desperately trying to break.I suppose she’s still holding fast to her public image and mystique, and maybe she feels like it is still her bread and butter, so she didn't want to shatter that image. But, that air of mystery leads me to another qualm about the book. A good memoir gives readers an intimate look at the person and is not just about naming names- which Debbie did a lot of – or an oral history of facts and events. Unfortunately, Debbie skimmed over some of the things I think people are most interested in knowing. Details!! We want to know about Chris Klein- not just that there was a relationship- but what came between them- what broke them up. Tell us about the drug addiction in a way that perhaps suggests a little regret or remorse- some hint of the agony she must have endured to get clean. None of those intimacies are here and I’m wondering if perhaps Debbie was not really all that interested in giving us a prolonged peek behind the curtain, which leads me to believe that she may have been better off going with an authorized biography instead. All of that said, Debbie Harry is an icon, and although I didn’t get much of a feel for who she is, deep down, I still love her music and was glad I had the chance to learn a bit more about her history. Those who are very dedicated fans, or were much more involved in the punk scene, and are far more familiar with the atmosphere of that time and place, may not glean anything new from this memoir, but I’m sure the trip down memory lane will be worth your time. Although I was a little underwhelmed by the book, and I may have made it sound worse than it really was, I’m still glad I read it. There are plenty of interesting, juicy bits of information, lots of sex and drugs, and it was fun to hear Debbie talk about her hair colors and fashion styles over the years. Her work as an actress was far more accomplished than I realized and I enjoyed hearing about her movies, although I don’t think I’ve seen anything she played in. I think Debbie has lived quite a colorful life and deserves her place in music history and as a pop culture icon. Cruise on! 3 stars
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsAlthough I have fond memories of listening to the music of Blondie and watching the videos of the winsome Debbie Harry prancing in front of the camera, I wasn’t a mega-fan and never followed her career after the break-up of the band. However, that didn’t stop me from anxiously awaiting my early reading copy that promised to be revealing and compelling and I was not disappointed.I hate coyness in memoirs so I appreciated Debbie letting loose with names along with her honest feelings and 4.5 starsAlthough I have fond memories of listening to the music of Blondie and watching the videos of the winsome Debbie Harry prancing in front of the camera, I wasn’t a mega-fan and never followed her career after the break-up of the band. However, that didn’t stop me from anxiously awaiting my early reading copy that promised to be revealing and compelling and I was not disappointed.I hate coyness in memoirs so I appreciated Debbie letting loose with names along with her honest feelings and opinions of her talent, looks, friends, and past relationships. Not being familiar with the punk music scene of the 1970s (I couldn’t name a Ramones song to save my life), some of the name dropping went over my head but I was captivated by her stories that were heartbreaking (Chris Stein's illness), infuriating (bankruptcy due to ignorance), and hilarious (Penn Jillette’s hot tub invention due to Debbie's rant). The tone is chatty and personal (it read as if the editor let her have reasonably free rein), and I had to take frequent breaks to locate videos and photos mentioned in the narration. And while Debbie is very candid, there is a feeling some of the really good stuff was omitted which is validated near the conclusion when she admits there are more stories to tell but she is a "private person" and unsure if she'll divulge them at some future date. This reader hopes she does.(Note: I couldn't comment on the promoted artwork and photos as they weren't part of the advance copy.)Thanks to the publisher for advance reading copy.
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  • Jo-Anne Hayley
    January 1, 1970
    It was ok. She didn’t really put a lot of emotion into it. It was interesting but lacked detail of relationships and how she felt about some of the events. It felt glossed over and lacking detail regarding her relationship breakdown etc however she mentioned she was a private person so that may explain it. The photos in my kindle were too small to see clearly. The artwork people sent her was interesting but took a lot of the book up. A bit of a let down for me.
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  • MicheleReader
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting memoir. I enjoy tales of the early days of the New York City punk scene and Blonde certainly had an important role in it. You get a sense of the grittiness of those early days. There are books that chronicle those times better (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain) but hey, it's Debbie Harry - nice to read her perspective of her journey and learn of how some of the band's top hits and records were created. Impressive that she kept so An interesting memoir. I enjoy tales of the early days of the New York City punk scene and Blonde certainly had an important role in it. You get a sense of the grittiness of those early days. There are books that chronicle those times better (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain) but hey, it's Debbie Harry - nice to read her perspective of her journey and learn of how some of the band's top hits and records were created. Impressive that she kept so many pieces of fan art which were nice to see.
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    2.5/meh. Debbie Harry is 74 and I'm sure she's lived a colorful and interesting life, but the only real interesting parts of this seem to be made up (view spoiler)[(she claims to remember being three months old, as a child she "had bedroom eyes" and always "received a lot of sexual attention", she says she was almost kidnapped by Ted Bundy--which has been debunked several times, she's claims to be psychic, she was raped at knifepoint but it didn't really bother her because she was more worried 2.5/meh. Debbie Harry is 74 and I'm sure she's lived a colorful and interesting life, but the only real interesting parts of this seem to be made up (view spoiler)[(she claims to remember being three months old, as a child she "had bedroom eyes" and always "received a lot of sexual attention", she says she was almost kidnapped by Ted Bundy--which has been debunked several times, she's claims to be psychic, she was raped at knifepoint but it didn't really bother her because she was more worried about their stolen equipment, etc. I'm sure there were more, but I can't think of everything right now. (hide spoiler)]Also, I lost count of how many times she mentions how pretty she is/was. So, here's the deal... she's more than old enough to be my mother but I'm still old enough to have owned at least one album as a kid and one 45 (young people will have to Google that lol) and she was never considered pretty by any means during that time period. Not ugly, just "hard" or "rough". Maybe she was really pretty in the 60s or 70s but, still, who wants to keep reading that?And if you're going to talk about all the times you've done heroin while heroin use and overdose deaths are on the rise, literally an epidemic, maybe follow up with something like "it was stupid, we were lucky to survive, and I wouldn't recommend doing it these days". Just a thought.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    Loved hearing the story of a female artist finding her voice. A large portion of the book covers the late 60s and 70s in NYC, which is always a draw for me. Lots of names, places, and people are mentioned rounding out the picture of the NYC punk scene. Highly recommend.
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  • ALC
    January 1, 1970
    The stories from 1945-1981 are lifted from Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie a bio published in 1982, which was written by Victor Bockris from interviews with Debbie and Chris Stein. The new stuff 1982-2019 is almost filler with nothing of any substance. Regarding her and Chris, just saying "we split up" is a cop-out. She couldn't bother to mention her participating in a satanic ritual during 2011 (She cut into a life size cake of a nude Debbie Harry and ripped out the heart) -WTF was that all The stories from 1945-1981 are lifted from Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie a bio published in 1982, which was written by Victor Bockris from interviews with Debbie and Chris Stein. The new stuff 1982-2019 is almost filler with nothing of any substance. Regarding her and Chris, just saying "we split up" is a cop-out. She couldn't bother to mention her participating in a satanic ritual during 2011 (She cut into a life size cake of a nude Debbie Harry and ripped out the heart) -WTF was that all about? I got the audio book and she reads it in a near monotone like she is reading a book about some other person. Very little emotion. Many fan drawings of her face from 1979 Blondie period. Guess she prefers to hide behind that persona than write a true memoir.
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  • Stephen
    January 1, 1970
    Well that’s shattered my memories of my early teenage years when I bought Heart of Glass as my first single and thought Debbie Harry was “cold as ice cream but still as sweet” (Sunday Girl).
  • Michael Ritchie
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointing. The most interesting part of the book is the first third in which Harry talks about her pre-Blondie days. But once she hits the mid-70s, her examination of her life becomes very surface. She says almost nothing about the writing or production of her music, and she seems reticent to talk about big events like the dissolution of the group and the break-up of her relationship with Chris Stein. It does seem like every apartment she ever lived in caught on fire. Not essential reading Disappointing. The most interesting part of the book is the first third in which Harry talks about her pre-Blondie days. But once she hits the mid-70s, her examination of her life becomes very surface. She says almost nothing about the writing or production of her music, and she seems reticent to talk about big events like the dissolution of the group and the break-up of her relationship with Chris Stein. It does seem like every apartment she ever lived in caught on fire. Not essential reading (and I'm a big Blondie/Debbie fan musically).
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  • Ian
    January 1, 1970
    I really wanted something juicy with all kinds of crazy punk 70's NYC shit and this was a major let down. It's PG-13 and in many cases, you’re trying to read between the details of what really happened. The tone was watered down and not at all convincing. The linear structure (we did this and then this and then this...) is almost a powerpoint presentation but with no style or getting to any real story. Harry seems like she's holding back and trying to skate around some major events and not I really wanted something juicy with all kinds of crazy punk 70's NYC shit and this was a major let down. It's PG-13 and in many cases, you’re trying to read between the details of what really happened. The tone was watered down and not at all convincing. The linear structure (we did this and then this and then this...) is almost a powerpoint presentation but with no style or getting to any real story. Harry seems like she's holding back and trying to skate around some major events and not really telling the reader what the heck she really felt/thought at the time (or even now in hindsight). I expected more blunt truth rather than a safe zone around the rocky stuff. It was in those jaggy crevices that the reader wants to go but she just skims along not even giving us a glance.
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  • V. Briceland
    January 1, 1970
    Some celebrities, in their written reminiscences, enjoy detailing the work that went into their much-beloved canon. The first volume of Julie Andrews’ memoirs, for example, dove deep into the nitty-gritty of My Fair Lady’s rehearsal process; John Waters latest collection of autobiographical essays was at its best with the blow-by-blow memories of how he developed, filmed, and coped with the aftermath of each of his films. Debbie Harry’s Face It: A Memoir is not one of those autobiographies. And Some celebrities, in their written reminiscences, enjoy detailing the work that went into their much-beloved canon. The first volume of Julie Andrews’ memoirs, for example, dove deep into the nitty-gritty of My Fair Lady’s rehearsal process; John Waters latest collection of autobiographical essays was at its best with the blow-by-blow memories of how he developed, filmed, and coped with the aftermath of each of his films. Debbie Harry’s Face It: A Memoir is not one of those autobiographies. And that’s okay.Other than a few tossed-off facts about individual songs—“One Way or Another,” for example, was inspired by a particularly persistent stalker—readers won’t find much illumination about the creation of Blondie’s classic albums. It’s more a collection of odd anecdotes, some mundane, some shocking, told in a world-weary style by one of the great icons of rock. When David Bowie, unasked, undoes his pants at a party and hauls out his equipment for Harry, her takeaway isn’t of #metoo outrage, but of, “David was fun.” That’s rock and roll, I guess.Face It is certainly full of Harry’s unique voice and circular style of storytelling—and for that alone it may be worthwhile for a curious readers who can hum along to “Heart of Glass.” Hardcore Blondie/Harry enthusiasts looking for more insight into her catalog of music, however, might find the memoir wanting.
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  • Jillybb
    January 1, 1970
    Sorry, I got to Debbie at age 4 and couldn’t any more. The audiobook read by the author is painfully dull. I wish an editor had told Debbie that an autobiography does not have to be laid out linearly. It’s OK to swirl, and swoop back. It’s OK to start somewhere far more interesting than her life as a beloved child living in the middle of nowhere. And it is never OK to minimize pedophilia, even if the exposure did not traumatize you. And, when writing an autobiography, it is never OK to be so Sorry, I got to Debbie at age 4 and couldn’t any more. The audiobook read by the author is painfully dull. I wish an editor had told Debbie that an autobiography does not have to be laid out linearly. It’s OK to swirl, and swoop back. It’s OK to start somewhere far more interesting than her life as a beloved child living in the middle of nowhere. And it is never OK to minimize pedophilia, even if the exposure did not traumatize you. And, when writing an autobiography, it is never OK to be so utterly boring. Pass.
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  • Jay Gabler
    January 1, 1970
    Imagine you're at a Blondie concert in 2019. The band start vamping on one of their classic grooves...maybe it's "Heart of Glass," maybe it's "Rapture." Then, Debbie Harry walks out to take the mic. Stunning, instantly recognizable, a 74-year-old music icon. When the cheering dies down, she starts to tell the story of her life.It's funny, shocking, dry, poignant. Mostly chronological, sometimes not. Sometimes self-deprecating, never self-aggrandizing — but then, Harry doesn't have to aggrandize Imagine you're at a Blondie concert in 2019. The band start vamping on one of their classic grooves...maybe it's "Heart of Glass," maybe it's "Rapture." Then, Debbie Harry walks out to take the mic. Stunning, instantly recognizable, a 74-year-old music icon. When the cheering dies down, she starts to tell the story of her life.It's funny, shocking, dry, poignant. Mostly chronological, sometimes not. Sometimes self-deprecating, never self-aggrandizing — but then, Harry doesn't have to aggrandize herself. She knows who she is, and what she does, and why you're there to see her do it. Suddenly, nine hours have gone by. You could stand there listening for longer, but she lets you go because she knows you probably have to pee like a racehorse.You may be starting to have some idea of what it's like to read Debbie Harry's new memoir. I reviewed Face It for The Current.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    I wish Debbie was my mom
  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    Face It by Debbie Harry Growing up in the 80's my music tastes were distinctly British, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, The Clash and Debbie Harry - the ultimate punk princess. If my mother had let me to bleach my hair I would have, at 15 Harry was my hero.Debbie's an 80's icon, incredibly talented, beautiful and a trail blazer. As the front-woman of Blondie, she and the band forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock and punk to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time. Face It by Debbie Harry Growing up in the 80's my music tastes were distinctly British, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, The Clash and Debbie Harry - the ultimate punk princess. If my mother had let me to bleach my hair I would have, at 15 Harry was my hero.Debbie's an 80's icon, incredibly talented, beautiful and a trail blazer. As the front-woman of Blondie, she and the band forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock and punk to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time.Debbie's life hasn't been an easy one, Debbie tells of her time in Blondie and how heroin addiction impacted on her career and life and the break up of Blondie.The coming to grips with a sexual assault and how Chris Stein helped her through it and how she helped Stein with his diagnosis of pemphigus. These two were a very creative team who still work together today.Debbie tells of her adoration of Marilyn Monroe and how she modeled her image on Marilyn. Andy Warhol immortalized her image in a series of prints which is one of his most iconic images.Four decades after Debbie's rise to fame she reflects on her life, its an interesting read, it is light on detail about some instances - but in Harry's own words - some things she can't remember,
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  • Nova
    January 1, 1970
    A weirdly tone-deaf memoir with a ton of mixed messages. Debbie spends a lot of time detailing instances where she was harassed, assaulted, or generally treated poorly by sexist men but then ends the bio by saying she "could never put [herself] in the position of whining about being a woman" because sexism played little part in her struggles. When talking about harassment she encountered (David Bowie exposing himself in dressing rooms, a band member staring at her chest while speaking to her, A weirdly tone-deaf memoir with a ton of mixed messages. Debbie spends a lot of time detailing instances where she was harassed, assaulted, or generally treated poorly by sexist men but then ends the bio by saying she "could never put [herself] in the position of whining about being a woman" because sexism played little part in her struggles. When talking about harassment she encountered (David Bowie exposing himself in dressing rooms, a band member staring at her chest while speaking to her, producers making a semi-nude picture of her into an ad without her consent, etc.), she refers to these incidents as "flattering", "sexy", and "adorable".While Debbie's experiences are obviously her own and she should be able to be truthful about her feelings, it's still an odd choice in the current climate to double down on the idea that just going along with sexism and using your looks to your advantage is the best way to "win" in the music industry.Add to that the stilted, rambling writing and the lack of any real detail or emotion in the stories that she tells... I had just really hoped that this one would be better.
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  • BMR, LCSW
    January 1, 1970
    For Debbie Harry fans, and for those who love stories of Old New York City.Debbie said something really interesting about gender identity and performance that I can't get out of my head. Basically, she wrote that she feels like a girl in girl drag at times...performing an expected role. That's pretty much how I feel anytime I have to get "gussied up" and wear makeup (which is hardly EVER) or a beautiful dress. I do love beautiful dresses and gowns, but I always feel like I'm playing "dress up" For Debbie Harry fans, and for those who love stories of Old New York City.Debbie said something really interesting about gender identity and performance that I can't get out of my head. Basically, she wrote that she feels like a girl in girl drag at times...performing an expected role. That's pretty much how I feel anytime I have to get "gussied up" and wear makeup (which is hardly EVER) or a beautiful dress. I do love beautiful dresses and gowns, but I always feel like I'm playing "dress up" and totally uncomfortable to go out in public with one on. As if someone will pull my mask off and say AH-HA! WE SEE YOU OVER THERE, PLAYING "GROWN-ASS WOMAN" YOU HOMELY THING YOU!
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  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of 'Face It' at an Oct. 3 panel discussion with Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and interviewer Rob Roth, who co-designed the book. The event, held at San Francisco's Jewish Community Center, was sold out, and a hoot. Harry and Stein told some of the episodes of their lives together that are also featured in the book. The design of it is nice, with thick pages, some black pages with white text in interspersed sections with color fan art portraits of Ms. Harry. For more photos, I received a copy of 'Face It' at an Oct. 3 panel discussion with Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and interviewer Rob Roth, who co-designed the book. The event, held at San Francisco's Jewish Community Center, was sold out, and a hoot. Harry and Stein told some of the episodes of their lives together that are also featured in the book. The design of it is nice, with thick pages, some black pages with white text in interspersed sections with color fan art portraits of Ms. Harry. For more photos, Stein's own book has more.Harry's memoir is divided into many chapters; each read like transcribed interviews, because they are. But some sections read as if Harry wrote them down (including the amusing 'thumb'-themed afterword). She discusses her childhood, early years in New York City, the near-chance meetings that led her to form a few bands that led to Blondie. Their early struggling years, and rock and punk and art world friends are a Who's Who of Andy Warhol's 'Interview' and the Bowery/East Village scene, CBGB's in particular.Their ensuing fame, success despite managerial problems, record corporation resistance, and financial ruin and break-ups, then reunions, are told in a personal way. Yes, Harry glides over some darker days (drugs, assaults and near-death experiences), but counters them with the simple joy of collaborating with the likes H.R. Giger, touring with David Bowie and Iggy Pop, and enduring the trials of fame. The details of some song ideas are mentioned, but not much is shared about how songs were created. Exceptions are the click track for 'Heart of Glass,' Fab 5 Freddy's influence on 'Rapture,' and Georgio Moroder's initial version of 'Call Me.' What I didn't know, despite seeing her in person at a 1990 Gay Pride rally in New York City, was how close Harry and Stein were (and are) to many LGBT friends and colleagues. Even as a teenager, listening to 'Parallel Lines' over and over in a college dorm room, I got an inkling of their cool metropolitan savvy, and an odd 'queer' vibe from them (none of the band members are, though). I also liked how Harry deconstructs the image and persona of 'Blondie' as a character, and compares that with her later work in films. She's one tough woman, and a rock icon. I'm happy that she got to tell her story her way.Of course, I've since been listening to and watching Blondie concerts on YouTube for days afterward.
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  • Christopher McQuain
    January 1, 1970
    This nicely designed tome is honestly not much -- anecdotal and random, scrapbook-like to the point of being slapdash and sometimes redundant or scattered. But frequently smart and always juicy, with ample names dropped? Oh, my, yes.
  • Pamster
    January 1, 1970
    Liked it a lot, the fan art inclusion makes it truly 5 stars for me.
  • Michael Legge
    January 1, 1970
    Shame he dies in the end.
  • Megan Mukerji
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted this book to be interesting, but mostly it was boring. I skimmed through the last 1/4 of the book. I found it repetitive in parts, with a lot of name dropping, in many cases of people I have never heard of before, and stories that meandered and lacked any meaningful or interesting detail.
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  • K
    January 1, 1970
    A fair bit of repetitive and a lot about her good looks.
  • Xilaii
    January 1, 1970
    Can't bring myself to rate or review it but I am overjoyed to have actually finished *something*.
  • Stuart
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved it, because I have loved Debbie Harry since 1977. I listened to it non stop over 2 days.As you can expect a lot of it is about sex, drugs and rock'n'roll which to me made interesting reading. Compared to her, you have led a boring life. Safer, but boring.I always wanted to know about the period when Chris Stein got sick and that was a heartbreaking account. Also, the part when they were penniless due to the tax issues they got into. With so much potential wealth possible, it seem I really loved it, because I have loved Debbie Harry since 1977. I listened to it non stop over 2 days.As you can expect a lot of it is about sex, drugs and rock'n'roll which to me made interesting reading. Compared to her, you have led a boring life. Safer, but boring.I always wanted to know about the period when Chris Stein got sick and that was a heartbreaking account. Also, the part when they were penniless due to the tax issues they got into. With so much potential wealth possible, it seem pointless that the tax authorities should drive people into the ground. Surely some arrangement would be better to pay off the bill? Tour for the tax man?What made it for me was that it was in her own voice. I enjoyed that so much.
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  • Andrewl
    January 1, 1970
    Harry ends the book with [not really a spoiler] an allusion to leaving the reader wanting more. This is definitely a case where less is actually less, and moreover had this book been shorter it would have been better, since there's a lot of filler.The largest part of filler is the fan art, divided into sections, each with a (skipable) preface. There's an intro by Chris Stein that makes no sense. Pictures are not dated and/or are out of linear sequence. There's a lot of art direction going on Harry ends the book with [not really a spoiler] an allusion to leaving the reader wanting more. This is definitely a case where less is actually less, and moreover had this book been shorter it would have been better, since there's a lot of filler.The largest part of filler is the fan art, divided into sections, each with a (skipable) preface. There's an intro by Chris Stein that makes no sense. Pictures are not dated and/or are out of linear sequence. There's a lot of art direction going on that comes to mean nothing, as though aesthetics could substitute for meaningful content. And there's a lot of working around significant moments and issues that lessen one's illumination rather than heighten it.Such as what? Such as leaving home, an event that is always fraught, even when it is a positive thing. One moment Debbie is in Jersey, the next she is living in NYC and her parents, up to this point well-represented in the memoir, drop out of the picture. Blondie's rise to fame is more akin to a stumble-in-the-dark to fame: one moment the band is formed and somehow and suddenly they're touring with Iggy Pop and David Bowie; there's an album made (or was there?) and there's a second album, and.... How did this all happen? And so on.Harry's recitation of events is monotone, to the extent that Harry recounts a robbery and rape with all the emotion of going to Burger King. It may be that Harry seeks to disempower the rapist by not giving him access to her feelings; but the bland tone that has been established at the book's outset discounts that strategy, I think. There's a good deal of "I was always [insert quirky/interesting vocation/feeling]," leaving you imagining that she must be the most protean person on the planet. She states that she was always punk from day one, which is hardly the truth.Nothing really settles. Just as something promises to be relevatory Harry is on to something else. Later chapters begin with what are ostensibly semi-profound musings on various subjects but are, rather, embarrassments.Face it? That Harry wears sunglasses in the cover photo, covering up half her face, gives you an indication of how much is not revealed in this borrow-it-from-the-library-if-you-must-read-it memoir.
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  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    Being a huge Debbie Harry/Blondie fan, I am just shy of being infinitely biased, so take this review for what it is. If you are a Debbie Harry/Blondie fan or a fan of the early New York punk scene, this is a must read: Gritty, goofy, and revealing, although at times I wished Debbie revealed more (for example, why did Blondie break up [beyond the platitudes]? Why did she and Chris Stein break up? And what happened to her cats!?!?!?!!?!). I feel like I know and appreciate Debbie much better as a Being a huge Debbie Harry/Blondie fan, I am just shy of being infinitely biased, so take this review for what it is. If you are a Debbie Harry/Blondie fan or a fan of the early New York punk scene, this is a must read: Gritty, goofy, and revealing, although at times I wished Debbie revealed more (for example, why did Blondie break up [beyond the platitudes]? Why did she and Chris Stein break up? And what happened to her cats!?!?!?!!?!). I feel like I know and appreciate Debbie much better as a person and appreciate the almost random occurrence of events--as well as the stick-to-it-ness--that lead to the rise of Blondie. The book is conversational (I listened to Debbie read it via audiobook) and friendly if at times harrowing with living in NYC in the 70s, the sexism, and the record industry. This isn't literature (lots of cliched writing and a bizarre ending that reads like typing to meet a contractual word count), but it's not meant to be: it's punk rock, and Debbie and the punk spirit smokes from the pages. That, at least for me, was enough.
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  • Kevin Dickson
    January 1, 1970
    Oddly cold and often infuriating, Face It’s conversational style could have used a solid edit and some structure. Harry switches from candid to elusive on topics, often within the same paragraph, ultimately raising more questions than it answers. Co writer should have had better follow up questions to drive a more solid narrative. Debbie Harry and her readers deserve better. Still, it’s interesting.
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  • Ian Coutts
    January 1, 1970
    Look, I won't call it brilliant, but I found it a joy to read. I was an early fan of Blondie -- and punk -- so it was fun to read about the start of the band and the rise of punk -- not that they knew they were creating that! It is amazing to remember how big they were -- and how fast it ceased after her longtime boyfriend Chris Stein got really sick. Has any other big group ever had their careers so completely derailed so quickly? But she is still around and still going, so good for her. If you Look, I won't call it brilliant, but I found it a joy to read. I was an early fan of Blondie -- and punk -- so it was fun to read about the start of the band and the rise of punk -- not that they knew they were creating that! It is amazing to remember how big they were -- and how fast it ceased after her longtime boyfriend Chris Stein got really sick. Has any other big group ever had their careers so completely derailed so quickly? But she is still around and still going, so good for her. If you liked the band and the era, read it.
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  • David Clement
    January 1, 1970
    Simply one of the best rock memoirs I’ve read. Blondie fans of a certain age (as I am) will devour the little details and anecdotes from the early days, while even those unfamiliar with Debbie will enjoy the punk sensibility of it all. An icon of New York culture/subculture Debbie embodies an attitude that is uniquely informed by her life experiences. I don’t think this type of life could happen again but maybe that’s what being a true punk is all about?
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