New York Film Locations

Blondie Music Video in Greenwich Village

3 April 2014

In 1999, the American band Blondie released their upbeat single "Maria", taken from their album "No Exit". This song was Blondie's comeback single, their first since "War Child" in July 1982. Their lead singer Debbie Harry was 53 when it was released, and the band had just re-formed for a tour with original members Chris Stein on guitar, Jimmy Destri on keyboards and Clem Burke on drums along with two new members. The band had been gone for a generation, which meant there were a lot of new fans who were just discovering Blonde and hearing their earlier hits for the first time.

The song topped the charts in the United Kingdom, becoming the band's sixth chart-topping song in that country. It also peaked within the top ten of the charts in Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.

It was written by the band's keyboardist Jimmy Destri, who when asked what this song was about replied: "Desire. Teenage desire because I have a teenage daughter and she's pretty beautiful and I watch all these boys gawk at her. I put myself in their shoes thinking about what I used to do with girls back then. I wasn't a very forward guy at all, I was like from afar and I'd go home and write a poem about her - I was really a sad little bastard. It sounds cute but you don't get any attention that way. So 'Maria' is about desire and the whole idea of using the Ave Maria thing is a way of saying she's on a pedestal, she's almost holy. It's not a religious thing at all, I don't believe in religion really."

The music video for the song was directed by Alan Smithee and was set in New York City. The opening scene showed the New York skyline through night-vision goggles before the camera zoomed into Blondie performing in a high-rise apartment block, which to fans of the beloved classic, "When Harry Met Sally" starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, would recognise as that of Harry's apartment at 57 East 11th Street in Greenwich Village.


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