This is the fourth and last part of the interview Legs and Gillian did with Debbie Harry  for Please Kill Me.

DEBBIE:  How’s Joey? Did you talk to Joey?

photo by Tom Hearn

LEGS: I’ve talked to, well, I’ve talked to Joey throughout the years. I have like twenty hours.


LEGS: Yeah, I have a lot of Joey, and the Ramones I have…

GILLIAN: Too much, almost; way too much.

DEBBIE: What else do you wanna know?

LEGS: This is good. Aren’t you having fun?

DEBBIE: Yeah, I’m getting worried though, I’m starting to worry.

L/G Why?

DEBBIE: Because I don’t remember everything.

LEGS: You don’t have to, this is good, just your impressions are fine.

GILLIAN: We don’t need facts. That’s already been documented, we want stories.

LEGS: Did you ever confront Patti, you know, hey man why are you telling Fred to leave our band and go into Television for?

DEBBIE: No, she didn’t really ever talk to me much. She and Lisa Robinson were very… I think they didn’t think I was up to their standards or something. We weren’t very friendly at all, ha ha ha, especially when she came into my drum audition. For some reason she showed up and I was auditioning drummers or bass players or something, and all of a sudden she comes walking in the room, and I had Clem [Burke] there and she said, “Hey, you’re pretty good, what’s your name?” I just thought… I said, “Patti, I’m working with this guy.” She says, “Oh, oh, oh…” Like “Uh.” You know, instead of, “Oh pardon me,” like she had never done anything. And of course Chris had a few things to say.

LEGS: What did Chris…

DEBBIE: I don’t know, something that was funny but insulting, you know, which she liked.

LEGS: Ramones. When do you see them for the first time, at the rehearsal space on 30th street?

ramones-flyerDEBBIE: I just remember the signs, oh no, yeah right, “they don’t want to but they will.” I guess that came later. I guess we saw them in a showcase somebody, oh I know, I guess it was whatsisname, Tommy, that we saw on the street, he said, “I’ve got this band, we’re doing a showcase, you should come by.” So we went by. And it was great; it was hilarious. And fun. And Joey was always falling over…

GILLIAN: Drunk or…?

DEBBIE: No, no, no.

LEGS: Just awkward.

Photo by Tom Hearn

DEBBIE: He’s just so tall and he was so ungainly and this stage was the stupidest thing, it had like a staircase up the front and then this platform and Joey couldn’t see very well, he doesn’t see very well, he had his shades on and he just was standing there singing, all of a sudden he was like this, WAAAA, and he was like lying face down, down this flight of stairs. Ha, ha ha…

LEGS: Did someone pick him up?

DEBBIE: Yeah, typical. They push him back up and kept on going.

LEGS: Ha ha ha. Did you like CBs right off?

DEBBIE: Well, we had been going there for quite a while and there were always these—they had these drag queen friends—Gorilla and Tomato, who did all these comic sketches that were great. That was so much fun.

LEGS: See the play where Arturo plays the nun who wants to be the most famous virgin in the world?

DEBBIE: Yeah, it was great. And Fayette played Babs the stunt girl, oh god, that was a scream, that was so good, they were just great. I don’t remember all the stuff that they did but they were so funny.

LEGS: Think that was kinda leftover– that aesthetic would you say?

DEBBIE: I don’t know if it was a product of that as much as something that ran parallel to that and it was definitely much less traditionally gay, and very, very sacrilegious and counterculture.

LEGS: And outrageous?

DEBBIE: Yeah. You know, very sick humor those two, and clever. Just clever.

photo by Chris Stein

LEGS: Don’t you think that drag queen humor kinda set up the humor for punk? Don’t you think they all kind of stole it from… because you had to be funny.

DEBBIE:  No, I don’t, I don’t think so. I think it’s a combination of drag queen and Lenny Bruce, because Lenny Bruce was totally irreverent and drag queen humor tends to be a little bit too…

LEGS: Bitchy?


DEBBIE: Yeah, and a lot of it isn’t really funny; some of it is. But a lot of it isn’t. A lot of drag shows are just totally boring.

LEGS: Can I just pause for a minute, will you go…

DEBBIE: Will you go?

LEGS: I just have to take a drag.

DEBBIE: I’m leaving in ten minutes.

[Legs leaves]

GILLIAN: Whenever he does that I draw a blank, you can take over, ha ha ha.

DEBBIE:  Well, he stops the machine.

GILLIAN: No, he didn’t.

DEBBIE: Oh right.

GILLIAN: So Anya used to have tea parties?

DEBBIE: She used to have everything. I mean, she had dinner parties, tea parties, people would sit around and… the thing about those parties was I would get there so early and everybody else would come really late, by the time they got there I’d be so tired of sitting around waiting that I wouldn’t have anything to say, and I would just sit there and be totally bored but sometimes it was interesting.

GILLIAN: What you would go early to help her set up?

DEBBIE: No, I was just a neurotic person that always goes on time to places, and I’m always early, or pretty much on time. And definitely that was not the way to behave. Look… oh no, it’s paper, I thought it was lettuce.

GILLIAN: Remember Sylvia [Reed] from then?

Silvia (L) Anya (R). Photo by © Godlis

DEBBIE: Yeah Sylvia. When Anya moved on to St Mark’s Place and she started having those little things, all of a sudden Sylvia was there and she acted very subservient to Anya and…

GILLIAN: …subservient?

DEBBIE: Yeah, Sylvia was acting very shy and you know, very much under Anya’s jurisprudence, or something like jurisdiction, but very sweet and very nice. I had no idea what she was like for many years, really, because she was so quiet. But she was always nice, we always got along well, and I had no idea she was just so smart. I mean, she really is equally as smart as Anya was; little brain trusts there.

GILLIAN: She was going to college?

DEBBIE: Was she? I have no idea.

GILLIAN: Yeah, classes and CBs at night, but what she said in her interview was that Anya was like, what are you going to these classes for?

DEBBIE: Oh, I thought she was a dominatrix.

GILLIAN: I don’t know. Is it true Anya had her diary roped from the ceiling in the bathroom?

DEBBIE: Roped?

GILLIAN: Yeah, noosed, hanging down…

DEBBIE: Her diary what?

GILLIAN: I heard she had her diary sort of noosed from the ceiling so when you sat down on the toilet it was like right in front of you.

DEBBIE: Where, in her apartment? I never saw that.


DEBBIE:  Oh, she mighta done that especially for Legs.

GILLIAN: Possibly.

DEBBIE: She really was creative. I don’t know, we just had a good time together. She was so cute, and so sneaky, it was wonderful, ha ha ha. Yeah, she was always like sort of fiendish and thinking sort of naughty, evil thoughts.

GILLIAN: Mischievous?

DEBBIE: Yeah, it was really fun and she would act out on them, too, which was even more fun. And then oh, one time we went down to this convention in Wilmington, Delaware called the Sleaze Convention and we wanted to meet John Waters and Edie the Egg Lady and all these people. And that was a lot of fun, that was sort of fun, so hot there, god.

photo by Tom Hearn

GILLIAN: Did you guys throw water on Legs?

DEBBIE: Down there?

GILLIAN: When he was in bed with some chick?

DEBBIE: Did we?

GILLIAN: He says you did, maybe he made it up.

DEBBIE: Oh, yeah. I’m sure we did. We had nothing better to do.

GILLIAN: So was it a little… you go meet this people… like a…

DEBBIE: It was in this room in this loft and it was the Sleaze convention, I don’t know who organized it or anything. There was John [Waters], there was Edie and these things with Rondo Hatton on them, ha ha ha.

GILLIAN: And what was the Egg Lady?

DEBBIE: You don’t know who Edie the Egg Lady is???



Part 1 is HERE
Part 2 is HERE

Part 3 IS HERE

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