Witness Debbie Harry & Shirley Manson's Decades-Long Friendship: A Timeline

Before seeing Blondie and Garbage's joint tour this summer, warm your heart with the frontwomens' nearly 30-year friendship.

Written by Emilee Lindner • Photography by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images • March 17, 2017

Garbage and Blondie are gearing up for their co-headlining Rage and Rapture Tour this summer, with dates all over the U.S. and Canada that will support new music from each band. Garbage released Strange Little Birds in 2016, while Blondie's 11th studio LP, Pollinator, is expected May 5. (Buy tickets for the tour here.)

But this isn't the first time that the band's frontwomen have toured with each other — in fact, Shirley Manson and Debbie Harry have a relationship that's nearly 30 years in the running now. Let's take a look at their awesome friendship over the years.


Debbie Harry and Shirley Manson first met when Manson was a member of Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, in which she played keyboards. The band toured with Harry in Europe in 1990.

“Meeting you was like touching a godly rock star,” she told Harry in Interview Russia, 22 years later. “I remember we were stuck in a lift together in Liverpool, before our first concert… The elevator doors opened, you walked in, and I thought I was going to fall on the floor. I was so freaked out! You greeted me, and I couldn’t utter anything. But from that moment you began to support me.” For many years, they had the same manager, Gary Kurfirst, who encouraged Manson to start Garbage in 1994.


Manson and Harry both appeared on the extended cover of Vanity Fair’s music issue, flanking either side of Barry White.


The two had a shared spread in a July issue of InStyle magazine, in which Manson explained how Harry influenced her: “She’s knock-down, to-die-for perfection.” Harry said this about Manson: “[Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie] opened for Blondie in Glasgow at this ballroom. Everybody was pogoing. And she just stood there. She was terrific. She had it all.”

Also in 2003, Index Magazine and Motorola held a benefit for the McAuley Psychiatric Treatment Program where Manson and Harry were seen having a moment in the green room.


Debbie and Shirley joined forces during Lifetime’s WomenRock! Concert, performing “Call Me” and “Bounce Along.” 


Manson introduced Blondie at the 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with seemingly unlimited praise for her friend, along with the rest of her band: “There is just coolness and sweetness and integrity and grace. And that is what makes them so very precious. For they truly are a rare breed. They’re great artists but they’re also great people.”


Harry interviewed Manson about her musical hiatus for Interview Russia, and it was gloriously celebratory and smart. “You were always rebellious, but I like to describe it as inquisitive or strong-minded,” Harry said of Manson, as they traded constructive compliments. You can read a translated version here.


Manson gushed about her idol to PopMatters: “She’s an incredible person and an amazing woman. She’s incredibly generous to all other young artist who have followed in her wake, and there have been so many of us. She has never treated anyone with jealousy or with any kind of superiority. She’s just a gorgeous creature, who deserves to be remembered.”


Blondie and Garbage announced their Rage and Rapture Tour, which kicks off July 5 and hits select cities U.S. and Canada until August 12.

Here are the dates for Bloindie & Garbage the Rage and Rapture Tour:
July 5 - Saratoga, CA @ The Mountain Winery
July 7 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
July 8 - Las Vegas NV @ The Pearl Concert Theater
July 12 - Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield
July 14 - Nampa, ID @ Idaho Center Amphitheatre
July 16 - Englewood, CO @ Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
July 18 - Kansas City, MO @ Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
July 19 - Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah's Council Bluffs Hotel & Casino
July 21 - Prior Lake, MN @ Mystic Lake Casino-Mystic Showroom
July 22 - Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia Festival
July 25 - Lewiston, NY @ Artpark
July 26 - Toronto, ON @ Sony Centre For Performing Arts
July 28 - Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre
July 29 - Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
July 30 - Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
August 1 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
August 2 - Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center for the Performing Arts
August 5 - Raleigh, NC @ The Red Hat Amphitheater
August 8 - Hollywood, FL @ Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena
August 9 - Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
August 11 - Austin, TX @ ACL Live
August 12 - Dallas, TX @ Southside Ballroom