This song is often rumored to be about Nancy Spungen, who was the girlfriend of The Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious. In a BBC Radio interview, Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry said the song dealt with media intrusions and what gossip columns do to the women they cover. She explained that the song is not specifically about Spungen, but a composite of women who were part of that music scene - including Harry herself. This put her in the position of being both the critical eye and the one being criticized.
One of Blondie's first singles, this was one of the songs they played in various clubs when they were part of the New York Punk scene. Performing this song, Debbie Harry would sometimes wear a wedding dress that she would tear up as she sang.
Talking about this song in Entertainment Weekly, Debbie Harry said: "It's so dirty and menacing. It's what we all do when we're getting catty - that's what the New York scene was like. There's toughness, but a lot of affection as well. It's like being roasted."
Ian from Nyc, NyI've heard a dozen theories about who this song is about. I'm reasonable sure it wasn't about Spungen. Another popular theory is Cherry Vanilla. Still another that it's about some groupie that was with David Johansenn. I honestly think it's about how people talked about Debbie herself.
Linc from Beaumont, TxDon't we all know someone like this!
Mark from London, EnglandThe record company's cynical marketing campaign for this single featured a picture of Debbie Harry, only, with the tag-line: "Wouldn't you like to rip her to shreds?", causing consternation among womens' rights groups.