When I excitedly told a colleague known to be into punk music that Blondie was coming to Israel, I thought he was going to gob me in the face.

blondie 88 (photo credit: )
blondie 88
(photo credit: )
When I excitedly told a colleague, known to be into Buzzcocks/Clash/Joy Division seminal punk music, that Blondie was coming to Israel, I thought he was going to gob me in the face. He turned up his nose and sneered, "They're not punk." Fair enough. But neither are the New York new wave veterans the disco ducks that such hit singles as "Heart of Glass" and "Call Me" might indicate to casual listeners. The group emerged out of the same CBGB's underground scene that spawned such punk heroes as The Ramones, Television and Patti Smith, and their first three albums were chock-full of sinewy power pop topped by the classic girl group vocals of the unsinkable Debbie Harry. Blondie's drummer Clem Burke, talking to Billboard from Massachusetts, where the band is in the midst of a tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of their breakthrough album Parallel Lines, said that he feels proud to have learned the rock and roll ropes in such a dynamic environment as 1976-77 New York. "It was more of a bohemian atmosphere than a punk one. It was more a workshop, where everyone was able to learn to make music in public. It was trial and error, really," he said. Burke added that a strong bond formed between all the bands who used to share stages and equipment. "Last night, The New York Dolls opened up for us. Those guys [who will be opening up for Morrissey in Tel Aviv on July 29] were our heroes. When we run into friends from those days, it's like seeing someone who you went to high school with. Hanging with David (Johansen) and Syl (Sylvain) was great, and we talked about old times and who survived and who didn't. "But in general Chris (Stein), Debbie and I don't really reminisce about the old days. But we're happy living in the here and now." Blondie performs in the Ra'anana Amphitheater on July 3rd with other late '70s punk survivors The Stranglers. Show's called for 7 p.m. with tickets at NIS 250, to order call *5000.