Chris Stein

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Chris Stein
Stein at SXSW in 2014
Stein at SXSW in 2014
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Stein
Born (1950-01-05) January 5, 1950 (age 73)
Brooklyn, New York, US
Years active1973–present
Member ofBlondie
Barbara Sicuranza
(m. 1999)

Christopher Stein (born January 5, 1950) is an American musician known as the co-founder and guitarist of the new wave band Blondie.[1] He is also a producer and performer for the classic soundtrack of the hip hop film Wild Style, and writer of the soundtrack for the film Union City,[2] as well as an accomplished photographer.


Stein performing with Blondie in 2011

In 1973 Stein became the guitarist of the Stilettos and began a romantic relationship with Debbie Harry, one of the singers. In the summer of 1974 Stein, Harry, and the band's rhythm section left to start their own group which they eventually called Blondie. They soon became fixtures in the punk and new wave scene centered around CBGB and Max's Kansas City and by the end of the decade achieved international stardom. Blondie broke up in 1982, but reformed in 1997 and has been active off and on ever since. In addition to being the sole writer of the Blondie song "Sunday Girl", Stein co-wrote numerous hits with Harry, including "Heart of Glass", "Dreaming", "Island of Lost Souls", "Rapture", and "Rip Her to Shreds". Stein also ran the Animal Records label between 1982 and 1984.[3][4]

In 2015, Blondie members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein made a guest appearance alongside The Gregory Brothers in an episode of Songify the News, and they collaborated again to parody the 2016 United States presidential election debates.[5][6]


A photographer, Stein documented the early New York City punk music scene, the visual allure of Debbie Harry[7] and Blondie, and his collaborations with artists including Andy Warhol and H.R. Giger.[8] Stein's photography was published most recently in September 2014 by Rizzoli in his book, Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk.[9][10]

The book Negative: Me, Blondie and the Advent of Punk was launched with an exhibition[11] at Somerset House in London, which also coincided with the fortieth anniversary of the formation of Blondie. Some of the photographs in Negative have also been published in the Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Victor Bockris co-authored volume Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie, first published by Elm Tree, London (1982). Making Tracks was later reissued by Da Capo, New York (1998).

Stein's photography has also been shown in an exhibition at the Morrison Hotel Gallery, West Hollywood in August 2013;[12] in a joint exhibition with Eddie Duggan at the University of Suffolk (April–May 2017), entitled A la recherche du punk perdu,[13] and in an exhibition in a Blondie 'pop-up' shop in London's Camden Market,[14] linked to the 2017 Blondie performance at the Roundhouse.

Personal life[edit]

Stein was born to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, New York, on January 5 1950.[15] He grew up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn and attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn, but he was expelled for his long hair.[16][17] Stein was co-host of TV Party, a public-access television cable TV show in New York City, that ran from 1978 to 1982.[18] In 1983, Stein was diagnosed with pemphigus vulgaris, a rare autoimmune disease of the skin. He was cared for by his then-partner Debbie Harry and he has since regained normal function. Stein had developed a mild form of the disease, and was able to control it with a program of steroids.[19]

While in Blondie, Stein and Harry maintained a romantic relationship but never married. The couple went their separate ways in 1985, but have continued to work together on a professional basis.[20] In 1999, Stein married actress Barbara Sicuranza, with whom he has two daughters. In July 2023 Stein said that one of their daughters had died in May. She had struggled with substance abuse, and overdosed.[21][22]

Stein has not toured with Blondie since 2019 due to heart issues, but has remained a recording member in subsequent releases, as on Blondie: Vivir en La Habana (2019) and an upcoming Blondie album. About his health condition, he stated: "I've been dealing with a dumbass condition called Atrial Fibrillation or AFib which is irregular heartbeats and combined with the meds I take for it I'm too fatigued to deal."[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Official Blondie Website". Blondie. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  2. ^ Foster, Dave (November 3, 2005). "Union City in February | News | Film @ The Digital Fix". Archived from the original on December 4, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  3. ^ "Chris Stein: Information from". January 5, 1950. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  4. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob (August 22, 2022). "Once More Into the Vaults: Blondie on the Music That Defined Its Legacy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  5. ^ "Blondie's Debbie Harry And Chris Stein 'Moderate' Auto-Tuned First Presidential", RTT News, October 1, 2016, retrieved October 24, 2016
  6. ^ The Gregory Brothers; featuring Blondie (September 27, 2016), "TRUMP VS. CLINTON (ft. Blondie) - Songify 2016", Songify the News, YouTube, retrieved October 24, 2016{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "The punk centrefold: Debbie Harry photographed by Chris Stein, 1976". June 25, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  8. ^ "Picture This: Blondie's Unofficial Photographer". July 7, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk". Rizzoli International. September 23, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  10. ^ "Blondie's Chris Stein Shares Stories Behind His Punk Photographs". Rolling Stone. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "Chris Stein/Negative". December 29, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Appleford, Steve (August 12, 2013). "Blondie Guitarist Reveals Rare Seventies Photos". Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  13. ^ "À la recherche du punk perdu: Images, memories and the 1970s | University of Suffolk". Archived from the original on September 5, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  14. ^ "Blondie Pop Up Shop and Exhibition - April 29th - May 3rd 2017". Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "Interview: Chris Stein | The Jewish Chronicle". June 30, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  16. ^ Hermes, Will (September 4, 2012). Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever. Macmillan. ISBN 9780374533540. Retrieved September 20, 2020 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ "Interview: Chris Stein - the Jewish Chronicle". Archived from the original on December 25, 2019. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "Glenn O'Brien Remembered by Blondie's Chris Stein, Co-Host of the Legendary TV Party". Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  19. ^ "Struck by her presence – Music". February 13, 2005. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  20. ^ "Parallel lives: Deborah Harry and Chris Stein on Blondie's legacy". Financial Times. May 5, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  21. ^ "My Mysterious Mysteries ++ Barbara Sicuranza". Archived from the original on September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  22. ^ "Official Blondie Web Site: Chris Stein". May 13, 2005. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  23. ^ "Blondie's Chris Stein is forced to pull out of UK tour with heart issues". Retrieved April 23, 2022.

External links[edit]