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Stein, Chris (5th January 1950-Present)

He is a guitarist, producer and songwriter born in Brooklyn, New York, who initially wanted to study Egyptology when he was young, but after his parents had bought him a guitar when he was 11 he became more and more interested in music. He encountered several problems as a teenager when he as expelled from school for having long hair, his father died from a heart attack and he had a nervous breakdown.

Choosing music as his professional career and gaining inspiration from the New York Dolls, he joined the group The Stilettos in New York in 1973 where a co-member was Debbie Harry. They became a couple and the following year formed the band Angel and the Snake that would become Blondie before long. Seeing regular hits from 1976, many of them were co-written songs with Debbie Harry such as “Heart of Glass”, “Picture This” and “Dreaming”, and he was the sole-writer of the hit “Sunday Girl”.

In 1982 he also branched out as a producer when he worked on the film Wild Style and formed his own record company, Animal Records, which released Iggy Pop’s Zombie Birdhouse.

Everything was going well in his career until 1983 when he was diagnosed with the genetic skin disease Pemphigus that is normally fatal. Blondie disbanded and after several years he miraculously recovered after a long fight with the disease in hospital. Debbie Harry and he amiably split as a couple, but he still contributed work to her solo albums that were released during the 1980s.

Blondie got back together in the ’90s after there was renewed interest in them, he produced photographic artwork for albums by Lydia Lunch and Dramarama, and he married the actress Barbara Sicuranza. Debbie Harry is the godmother to their daughter Akira.

His compositions for the television and film industry include music for Intimate Stranger, Wild Style, Polyester, Tales From the Darkside and Union City among others.

Blondie recordings
Heart of Glass (Deborah Harry/Chris Stein)
11:59 (Jimmy Destri)