Friday, February 13, 2009

Boys Keep Swinging

It took me about halfway through to figure it out, but this week's Friday book pick is also about a young man who cross-dresses.

Brothers, Meagan. Debbie Harry Sings in French. New York: Henry Holt, 2008.

Isn't Debbie Harry Sings in French a great title? It's the story of a teenage Blondie fan named Johnny who moves to the Deep South where he is often beat up and accused of being gay. Remarkably, Johnny does not let the bullying break his spirit. He falls for a music-loving cool chick who turns him on to Patti Smith and helps him find his inner diva.

Blondie (Musical group). Greatest Hits [Sound & Vision]. Hollywood, CA: Capitol Records, 2006.

In the acknowledgment section at the end of the book, the author thanks:
" . . . all of the artists mentioned in this book (and many who aren't) for all the verses, riffs, fashion sense, and menacing poses struck on stages and album covers alike that helped me and many other gawky kids in the far reaches of suburbia survive our hapless solitary teenagedoms."

me, circa 1982
Although my "teenagedom" was actually quite enjoyable, I did like to strike poses and try to sing like my idols Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Tracey Ullman, and Patti Smith.

ps. While we're on the topic, do you remember this great David Bowie video?