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Face It

A Memoir
Written by: Debbie Harry
Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Performed by Debbie Harry with vocal guest appearances from Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Alannah Currie, and Gary Valentine with original music by Chris Stein.

Filled with never-before-seen photos and art throughout, the much-anticipated autobiography from rock icon and lead singer of Blondie, Debbie Harry

Brave, beautiful, and born to be punk

Musician, actor, activist, and the iconic face of New York City cool, Debbie Harry is the front woman of Blondie, a band that 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, 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 re-creates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie. Aesthetically dazzling, and including never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations, and fan art installations, Face It brings Debbie Harry’s world and artistic sensibilities to life.

Following her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie’s breakup as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than 30 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.

"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." (From Face It)

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Debbie Harry (P)2019 HarperAudio

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Certainly not a fluff piece

First of all, just to clear it up for anyone guessing. More than 95% of the book is read by Debbie Harry. It was great to hear her talk about herself, her image, and her point of view. She says she is still a punk and said it is something that has always resonated with her. I find that hard not to like, coming from her. She kept it pretty real and raw here. Lots of background stories about the music and other musicians. She also is very honest about how she sees the world and what her experiences have been. Some might be put off, others might relate and/or be entertained. Life is messy, but it’s kinda fun too. Really enjoyed the book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A deeper look into an idol

this book is filled with great stories and references to artists, that if you don't know of, should be looked into. she's quirky and has always been an idol to me. my mother was and still is a punk. influencing my music taste and "fashion". I stole her "best of Blondie" album when I was pretty young, when I got my first walkman. at the age of 12 I got more interested in the messages and image. being blonde and quiet, often treated stupid because of my silence, it was great to look up to a woman who I felt a likeness with. her prowess and just do it energy pulled me in. this book was a reawakening of the little 6 year old me finding home in Debbie's music. Blondie was one of my nicknames and some part of me feels we share a similar soul piece, that's not just on hair colour.. but looking for a place to be and creating through life to release and shush the abandonment issues. there are a lot of pieces in this book that ring deeply with me. if you idolized this woman, it's great to get this deeper insight into the mind and actions of Debbie. Thank you.

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Debbie tells it well

I really enjoyed this memoir. Debbie talks us through some great moments in her musical history. Her love for NYC shines through here on every chapter.

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  • Jessica Pollard
  • 2019-12-23

Disappointed

I bough this book based on great reviews and and a fondness for rock autobiographies. I have to say I was incredibly disappointed and had a hard time finishing. Though Debbie Harry is a talented musician, she gives a very halting and monotone narration. Her stories often seem unfinished. She jumps around a lot and will start to tell what seems to be a great story (going to one of Timothy Leary’s happenings in the 60’s for example), but then seems to share mundane parts of the storyline and leaves out the interesting details (she talked about his his long lecture and how she ended up being partnered up with a guy who was an FBI agent, and then... that was it). She alludes to extensive drug use but never really talks about it, she mentions her 13 year relationship with Chris Stein and her enduring friendship and love for him, but never once mentions why they broke up or even alludes that there were having difficulties. There was apparently tons of drama between band members, but again, she never really talks about it other than mentioning law suits and bad managers. I think overall, there just seems to be a lack of emotion in the book. More of a bland recounting of memories (and how is it possible to make her life sound bland? I don’t know!) At the end she tries to lighten things up by adding a 12 minute chapter where she rambles on about interesting things about thumbs. Really. Just... thumbs. If found myself rolling my eyes so many times through this book. I guess if you’re already well versed in Blondie history, this might be an interesting little addition to your knowledge base. But as a reader looking for a good story.... look elsewhere.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kyle3515
  • 2019-10-18

Great overview of her life!

If you are a fan of the scene she came out or just a fan of her you will enjoy this experience. All of this being said, nothing better than the author reading the work especially since it is about the author. Makes a more wholesome listen. Worth it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anne
  • 2020-01-17

Oddly dull

She either led a dull life for a rock star or was unwilling to really open up about it. Still, it’s Debbie Harry. She narrates her own book and she’s charming!

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  • Sharon
  • 2020-01-13

as far as rock memoirs go, this was bland....

Don't get me wrong, you'll manage to finish the book and be entertained but you won't learn that much more than you already knew if you're a fan. I read a lot of rock star memoirs and typically those who read their own put great emotion into the reading, Debbie lacks that. It's almost as she's reading her own book for the first time.

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  • Diane Natale
  • 2019-10-25

Literally couldn't stop listening

Truthbaring, real, sometimes raw. Brings you into her world with the attitude, the punk crowd, the real real. Humility and grateful emerge from her voice - from her depiction of a life with many twists and turns. It's more about the journey than the music. It's about the creative process and the idea that a true artist must create. Loved it Debbie!

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  • BrassHat
  • 2019-10-16

I loved this book

Debbie's reading of this book will reinvigorate the long neglected punk rock soul in anyone.
So many great stories, snapshots of daily life and tiny morsels of tasty details about the ups and downs of the music business.
Debbie has marched through life with brains, beauty and balls. It's a GREAT book!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • AMG
  • 2020-02-18

A ‘Tell-some’

Not a tell-all, DH sometimes leaves a little too much out. I kept hoping she would talk about why she never married or had children. A long exposition and the only dull part of the whole book -the chapter on opposable thumbs - would not be required-just the truth, short and sweet.

Also looking forward, what does she still hope to do?

There is one scene which I won’t spoil by talking about it but it is haunting and harrowing and I did wonder about whether she reported it to the police and if not, what her thoughts are on the subject.

DH is the coolest most beautiful and talented big sister to many young women who grew up in her wake.

Unlike another female musical performer who shall remain nameless (because that will drive her crazy) DH never came off as a nasty unkind snarky insecure B.

DH remains dedicated not to the aggrandizement of her own ego but to art! and music and yes- to a great sense of humor and love.

Writing this book was a huge act of generosity. To share with all of us who feel like we know her but really don’t, for all of us who admire and take so much inspiration from her insatiable curiosity and the way she developed her talent I can only say: Thank You, DH for giving us as many details and anecdotes as you have.

We await volume 2 and all future creative endeavors.
xo

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  • Ryan Anys
  • 2020-02-13

A very compelling tale!

Debbie Harry it's a punk rock pioneer, and a very cool, classy chic.

And the book is made all the more enjoyable because she narrates it herself.

can't recommend this enough for any fans of Blondie, Debbie, punk, or rock and roll in general!

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  • CottonKandy
  • 2020-02-03

Long awaited memoir

I was a kid in the 70’s. I was transfixed by Debbie Harry, and Blondie was my favorite band, still is! I am so glad they’re back together and going strong. This book takes you from the beginning, middle, and end of Blondie, as it were. Then it talks about the years in between, and Chris Stein’s much hushed about illness in the early days of AIDS, and it was rumored that’s what he had, as pictures of the ever loyal Debbie walking out of Lennox Hospital long enough to go home to get a bite & a shower. She was a faithful companion and I like her transparency all throughout her book, her NJ accent just adds to her charm, and I truly liked her talking about her being adopted. Knowing that it has and does affect her. Adoption starts from loss and is indeed lifelong trauma, even in the best of scenarios. Not only has Debbie got the face of a Greek statue, she’s got the talent & presence as well. Was sorry to hear how they were screwed over by a greedy business manager, an all too familiar story, particularly pre-internet days. I will always be a loyal fan. It’s an excellent book and covers the beginning up to the present. Read it , you’ll be glad you did!

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  • kf smith
  • 2020-01-21

Queen of Downtown’s Life Store is a MUST

Debbie Harry is the patron saint of struggling artists in NYC: she busted her ass as a headahop clerk, waitress at Max’s Kansas City and a Playboy Bunny before her and then boyfriend Chris Stein founded Blondie. They sold 50 million records but most importantly created their own genre-defying (punk-pop-new wave-reggae-disco-rock...) style of music which ruled the airwaves in the late 70s and early 80s. Plus she’s a fascinating, brilliant and intellectually curious woman. This book is a chance to spend a few hours with the original Punk Goddess, hearing the stories of her life.