Blondie's Jimmy Destri to DEBUT
Jimmy Destri and The Sound Grenade
at Joe's Pub Saturday February 25th
CAN JIMMY DESTRI RIDE AGAIN?
The Lower East Side is not what is used to be; especially for the founding members of the Punk/New Wave scene 30 years ago and the CBGBs front-liners who claimed it. With age, comes a different breed altogether - the punk replaced with the posh, who can afford million dollar apartments on the former bombed out Bowery, once NYC’s infamous “Skid Row.”
Unlike most "new" scenes, however, the new LOSIADA was launched to its current position of coolness on the backs of those earlier and grittier pioneers; members of Blondie, Television, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads, etc. So when Jimmy Destri, a founding member of Blondie, keyboardist, hit songwriter, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer returns to his ply his trade, he is oddly in sync with the new regime. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have made some money in my time, so I don’t have to start over and live in a squalid rat hole like the one I shared with Debbie (Harry), Chris (Stein), and Clem (Burke). Back in the late 70’s all of us were broke and came to the Bowery cuz it was dirt-cheap. It was a place where hungry talented musicians could afford to live and play shows together,” states Destri.
Today, Blondie remains one of the most commercially successful groups to have emerged from the scene and the only one to have had a #1 hit after an 18 year absence, with the Destri penned song “Maria”. back in ’98. Despite having been a partner in Blondie for over 30 years; writing over 30 of their songs, and contributing his unique synth sounds to the group overall, Destri hasn’t played with Blondie since 2004. “We just didn’t get along anymore, not that we ever did,” he adds dryly. For a long time after that he didn’t play music anymore. “My heart was no longer in it. So I did what any self-respecting punk rocker would do. I became a rabid cocaine addict and licked my wounds.” It was only after a lengthy period of sobriety, and a career helping others as a drug counselor that music came to him again. Now he is starting over with a new band of talented young musicians.
“I love that a lot of new young bands are inspired by my earlier synth sound." Check out the mash up of Blondie and Arcade Fire here
“When Evan Taylor (one of Destri’s new band mates) expressed interest in getting together a band that performed my material, I was very hesitant. They were more than enthusiastic. After some wearing down, we started to rehearse and just all clicked. “
So what can the public expect to hear this time around? “Something loud” is all that Jimmy will reveal, though fans are sure to recognize a lot of Jimmy’s older material. “There is something hair raising about hearing some of those solos ingrained in your brain, live. Even his new music is signature Destri,” raves a fan. At any rate, one is sure to walk away with a new respect for the timelessness of his writing (new and old) and the talent required to actually play what is being easily sampled these days.
Catch the debut of Jimmy Destri and The Sound Grenade. Joe’s Pub, Feb. 25 at 9:30. Tickets available HERE