American Gods: Garbage's Shirley Manson Talks Duet With Debbie Harry

american gods shirley manson debbie harry

If you ask a fan of Starz's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods who their favorite character is, don't be surprised if they tell you it's…the music. Whether it's how Kris Jensen's song Torture gives us insight into the tortured, troubled soul of a just-paroled Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) or how The Band's The Weight offers an ironically sad foreshadowing of the "accident" about to claim Laura Moon (Emily Browning) and Robbie (Dane Cook), the soundtrack to the first season of American Gods serves as the viewer's tour guide through the machinations of gods and men.

american gods shirley manson debbie harry

For me, one of the songs that stood out the most came in the season finale: Come To Jesus. As we finally get to see Bilquis' (Yetide Badaki) backstory play out over the centuries, viewers are treated to the '70s disco-sounding Tehran 1979, composed by series composer Brian Reitzell and performed by vocal powerhouses Shirley Manson from the alternative rock band Garbage and the legendary Debbie Harry from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted rock band Blondie.

Interestingly enough, American Gods executive producer Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) revealed during a Q&A at Vulture Festival in May that Tehran 1979 almost didn't make it into the season finale. Producers were originally planning to use a previously recorded Blondie song, but then Fuller came up with idea of having Reitzell compose an entirely new disco song and was able to get Harry and Manson duet on it.

american gods shirley manson debbie harry

For Manson, this wouldn't be the first time she's meet Harry…but for her, it would definitely be better than their first meeting:

"My very first experience [with a rock star] was Debbie Harry. I was in a band in Scotland called Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie and we were opening for Debbie's 'Debravation' tour. And we had been told do not speak to Debbie Harry unless you are invited to speak. Cut to day one and we were in a hotel elevator — me and my band — and in walks a bodyguard and Debbie Harry in full workout gear, wearing shades, and looking like Debbie Harry. And I literally thought, 'Oh my f—ing god.' I turned to the side and almost collapsed into myself, at which point she took her time and looked over all of us in the elevator. She pulled off her shades, smiled, and said, 'Hi.' I literally pushed into the corner at this point quivering and I think we all managed in unison to say, 'Hi.' That was the end of the experience."

american gods shirley manson debbie harry

It would appear that Harry was as impressed with Manson as Manson was with her: following their work on Tehran 1979, Harry was quoted as saying that she thought performing with Manson live on stage would be "remarkable."

For Manson, it's an invitation she's more than willing to accept: "Ooh, that's news to me. I love it. She knows I'm her Huckleberry. I'm in for anything she ever asks me to do."

Garbage and Blondie are currently co-headlining a summer tour together, which began on July 5th in Saratoga, California. American Gods recently wrapped up its first season on Starz, and was quickly renewed for a second season after the show's second episode aired.

american gods shirley manson debbie harry

Summary: When Shadow Moon is released from prison, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and a storm begins to brew. Little does Shadow know, this storm will change the course of his entire life. Left adrift by the recent, tragic death of his wife, and suddenly hired as Mr. Wednesday's bodyguard, Shadow finds himself in the center of a world that he struggles to understand. It's a hidden world where magic is real, where the Old Gods fear both irrelevance and the growing power of the New Gods, like Technology and Media. Mr. Wednesday seeks to build a coalition of Old Gods to defend their existence in this new America, and reclaim some of the influence that they've lost. As Shadow travels across the country with Mr. Wednesday, he struggles to accept this new reality, and his place in it.


American Gods 'Come To Jesus' Recap: 'You Better Get Yourself A Queen"

American Gods Recapping A Prayer For Mad Sweeney: I Was A King Once

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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