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May 31, 2016

'It's Debbie, not Blondie!' – Rising Star a Natural in Front of the Camera in 1979

It was September 1979 and photographer Anthony Barboza was shooting Deborah Harry of the band Blondie at his studio on 10 West 18th St. in New York City. The shoot was for Crawdaddy magazine.

Harry walked into the studio with an air of effervescence, bubbly and bouncy, a cute little girl with short blond hair. She was wearing a black T-shirt with "Blondie" scrawled across it.

At this point, Harry was a rising star in the growing New York punk/New Wave music scene and was on the verge of going worldwide. The band was gaining attention for their performances at the famed CBGB club on the Lower East Side of New York, which a decade later would help Madonna rise to fame.

"She was different from many young stars I had worked with in the past, very sweet and down to earth," Barboza recalled.

"To begin with, I put up a red enamel paint background. She was terrific — a natural — moving all sorts of different ways, constantly in motion. Eventually I changed the backdrop to pink vinyl and readjusted the lighting. During the shoot she would tug on the shirt as well as using it to cover her mouth and make different facial expressions. At times she would throw her head back and laugh."

"Some people feel insecure when they're being shot and don't know what to do, but she was unbelievable in her poses. She was very animated and had a lot of charisma."

"The shoot lasted about three hours. She seemed to really enjoy it. By the end of the day I was very pleased and surprised with the way things developed. It was a memorable afternoon."

(Photos: Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)


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