Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

Debbie Harry is the Queen Bee

Marty’s photo of the day #2248: When I was in high school, my two favorite bands were the Runaways (Joan Jett) and Blondie. I would have loved to have seen Blondie in their prime, but as I drove to see a concert that included them on Friday, I had low expectations. How good could Debbie Harry be at 72? Yeah, Tina Turner put on a great show at that age, but she’s a freak of nature. The sole reason I was going to Nampa, Idaho Friday night was to see Garbage. In fact, I was surprised that the order of the concert was X, Garbage, and Blondie. Shouldn’t Garbage have closed the show? Their music is more current and few, if any, bands have a stage show capable of following theirs without a major letdown.

As things turned out, the order of the show was for the best. When Garbage took the stage, the temperature was 104 degrees, and energetic 50-year-old Shirley Manson just barely survived the heat. Shortly thereafter, the sun set and the temperature dropped into the pleasant range.

When the Blondie concert began, I realized my expectations were way too low. I cracked up as Debbie Harry took the stage, dressed as a queen bee, with a long black cape that said “Stop the Fucking Planet.” Yes, the woman knows how to make an entrance! And the show was really good. Sure, there were a few notes Debbie couldn’t hit anymore, and she certainly couldn’t move like Shirley Manson (but then she probably couldn’t have done that even in her prime). But when I think of what my parents were like at age 72, I couldn’t help but be amazed. Debbie Harry pulled off punk, when so many her age have relegated themselves to the couch in front of the TV.

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