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Sunday, December 03, 2006

78 Was Great Too

debbie harry san diego 78

If everything punk exploded in 1977, then 1978 is when the mainstream started to take notice. After all, it was in 1978 that Blondie cracked the pop charts with an old song, repurposed on a new album and became worldwide pop stars. But earlier that year, in the summer of 1978, history found Blondie on tour with one of my favorite bands ever, The Kinks.

This photo was taken in San Diego in July 1978. Blondie was opening the Kinks tour. That fuschia and chartreuse mini dress that Debbie is wearing was a 25 cent find at the Beverly Hills All Saints Church rummage sale. Neither Pleasant nor I, with our olive-skinned brunette complexion could really pull that off. But Debbie could, and boy, did she!

kid plz

A photo from backstage - Pleasant and Kid Congo Powers, who wasn't yet Kid Congo - he was still Brian.

Jimmy Destri/Blondie, 1978

Here's Blondie keyboard player, Jimmy Destri showing us some rope tricks.

I remember this day vividly. Pleasant, Kid, Randy Detroit and my sister all piled into my brand new Honda Civic. In 1978, the Honda Civic was not the decent-sized yuppie car it is today; it was as small as lawnmower. We left Los Angeles early and spent part of the day in Tijuana. We didn't take any chances there, as we knew we had somewhere to be by about 5 PM.

On an earlier trip to Tijuana (in March 1978), Pleasant and I were stopped at the border and all our fireworks and switchblades were confiscated after we got the full pat-down and the border patrol took my car completely apart, and somehow disabled its horn.

When we all came back to the San Diego State University amphitheatre where Blondie and the Kinks were playing, we settled in to the catering... which was done per the Kinks's request for a good old British meal of fish n chips and mushy peas. The Davies brothers were up to their famous fueding, and each of them had their own backstage area - one man on each side of the stage. Ray Davies side of backstage was on the same side that Blondie were and it was quite a thrill to make small talk with this man who wrote so many of my favorite songs.

1978 was still a time where the so-called classic rock wasn't completely awful and lots of things, including dreams were possible.

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