Blondie say it was their ‘moral duty’ to reject Winter Olympics invite

Debbie Harry and Chris Stein reveal their reasons for saying no to Sochi

Blondie have said it was their “moral duty” to reject an offer to perform after a medal ceremony during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Earlier this month the New York band tweeted a photo of the offer they received to play in front of a crowd of 25,000 people at the Red Rocks festival, on the Sochi Medals Plaza. But the group turned down the invite to play the 45-minute set on human rights grounds.

Writing in this week’s NME, which is on newsstands today (February 19) and available digitally, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein say that rejecting the offer was not an easy decision. “We wanted to go but it didn’t feel proper, especially in light of the crazy new legislation banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ and the climate of anti-gay abuse,” they write.

Citing their relationship with their gay fans, the pair continue: “Blondie has a long relationship with the gay community. These are our friends and neighbours, so to take a stand and represent them feels natural to us.”

The 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony took place on February 7, where tATu performed alongside the Russian Police Choir, with the latter covering Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’.

Meanwhile, it was announced this week that Blondie are to be crowned Godlike Geniuses at this year’s NME Awards. One of the most iconic groups of the past four decades, the band will pick up the award in person and also perform live at the NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas on Wednesday, February 26 at London O2 Academy Brixton.