PHOTOGRAPHER NORMAN SEEFF SHOT THIS SESSION for Blondie’s 1979 Eat to the Beat album at New York’s historic Chelsea Hotel, a famous haunt of the Manhattan arts crowd. “The band seemed to be part of that milieu,” says Seeff. “They were a quintessential New York group.” Singer Deborah Harry arrived late to the shoot and in a funk. “She walked away while we were shooting without explanation,” recalls Seeff. “We’re all standing around, like ‘What do we do next?’” Ultimately the group ended up perched on a balcony outside one of the hotel’s apartments, and more pressing concerns emerged. “There was the band, someone to hold the light, my assistant and myself—all standing on this tiny balcony,” recalls Seeff. “The Chelsea is very old, and I was terrified the entire structure was coming down.” The building held, and despite the somewhat rocky beginning the session yielded great images. “Deborah rose to the occasion in the end,” says Seeff, “and we wound up working harmoniously together.”

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