I ran into our friend Romy Ashby, author and blogger at Walkers in the City, right in front of the Sweet Banana Candy Store on the doomed block of 9th Avenue in Chelsea. She told me a story about Debbie Harry and how the candy store almost became a Blondie song.
not in the mood to have her picture taken
"Debbie lived in the neighborhood too, and she used to walk by here all the time. If memory serves, she liked the little scene happening out in front of the candy store every afternoon, all the kids hanging out enjoying themselves, and she loved the name Sweet Banana. It must have been the late 90s, and I remember her saying, 'You ever go by the Sweet Banana Candy Store? I want to write a song and call it that.'"
"We were writing songs together for the upcoming Blondie record, and we had some melodies that Chris Stein had put together. So we tried writing one about the Candy Store and we got some lyrics with 'Sweet Banana' in the chorus and we sang it, sitting in Debbie's living room. But ultimately the song didn't happen. Not because we stopped liking the idea, but because it just didn't come together, which happens sometimes with songs. The melody ended up as another song on the record, and I wish I remembered which one, but I don't. Now I wish we'd stuck with it and done it so there would be a Blondie song about the Sweet Banana Candy Store."
"Did I ever tell you about the time when Debbie and I went up on that High Line and she had her little dog with her, all zipped up in a bag on her shoulder? The guards were so mean to her about it. Not only did they kick us off the High Line, they gave Debbie a $150 ticket."
"I wanted to like the High Line, I really did, but after that, forget it. And now it's just too crowded."