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Gary Valentine (born Gary Lachman on December 24, 1955 in Bayonne, New Jersey, United States) is a writer and musician. He has served as a performer and songwriter with the rock group Blondie, writing tracks such as "(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear" and "Sex Offender" (the band's first single, later changed to "X Offender"). In his solo career post-Blondie, he's created new wave and power pop inspired songs such as "Tomorrow Belongs To You" and others. He's also become an authority on various occult and esoteric subjects based on his private research.
Valentine is a prolific author and has authored a number of books about music and the occult as well as articles for magazines such as Fortean Times and Mojo. His writings have additionally appeared in publications such as The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Independent. He has also given talks on his specialist subject areas, for example, appearing a number of times at UnCon.
He was one of the founding members of Blondie in 1975 and helped push the group into a path towards huge acclaim. Yet he was replaced in 1977 by Nigel Harrison, just as the outfit were starting to really gain recognition. After Blondie, Gary moved to L.A. and formed the rock band The Know with a few members of The Mumps. He has claimed that the Know were the first band to play the infamous Madame Wong's Chinese-restaurant-turned-punk-hangout venue. Shortly after that he notably played guitar with eccentric musical star Iggy Pop.
Much later, Valentine formed Fire Escape with his current girlfriend and performed songs he had written for the Blondie reunion album (they had not been used due to the band ultimately excluding him from the recording process and the reunion tour). The outfit released an EP to little fanfare and went on a permanent hiatus after just two years. A compilation of Valentine's musical work, titled 'Tomorrow Belongs To You', came out in 2003 on the U.K. label Overground Records. Though mainstream success has remained out of Valentine's reach, his material has received praise by many fans of underground new wave and power pop inspired music.
In 2006, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, because of his time with Blondie. Although ex-members weren't allowed to perform with the current line-up at the ceremony, the honor showed the still compelling strength of his songwriting talents. Read more about Gary Valentine on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.
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