Judith Barry/Richard Kern
Richard Hell and The Voidoids
The first rap video to be broadcast on MTV opens with choreographer William Barnes dancing in a white suit and top hat on the Upper East Side. He is joined by an alluring Debbie Harry and the Blondie band, easy-going, cross-over artists who bridged uptown and downtown. In the final sequence (a single-take scene), they dance down a street passing Fab 5 Freddy and graffiti artists Lee Quiñones and Jean-Michel Basquiat in action. Blondie, a pioneer in the merging of punk-rock and New Wave music in America, was considered an underground band until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next few years Blondie became known for its eclectic mix of musical styles, incorporating elements of disco, pop, and reggae while retaining its identity as a New Wave band.
Godlis (American, born 1951). Blondie, CBGB’s. 1977. Black-and-white photograph. The Museum of Modern Art Library. Gift of the artist