It’s not every night that a bona fide pop legend – and one of your all-time heroes – joins your ghost tour.
But that’s what happened to Patrick Smith when Debbie Harry went on his walk this week.
The lead singer of Blondie brought several of the band with her to the The Original Ghostwalk of York, starting from the King’s Arms pub on Tuesday.
Tour guide Patrick Smith said they’d “had an inkling” she might be joining a tour at some point this week.
But he still struggled to hold it together when she appeared.
“Half of the band were with her. So you have all these figures dressed in black, looking all cool,” he said.
“And then some of them drifted away. And there she was. I didn’t know she was going to come on that night, so I was taken completely by surprise.”
It came ahead of Blondie’s appearance at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre this week.
Wearing a T-shirt with a D on it, black trousers and boots and a long summer top, she looked “quite floaty and rock’n’roll” said Patrick. “She looked great.”
He described himself as a “massive fan” of both singer and band.
“I remember when I was nine, I saved up my pocket money. And I walked I don’t know how many miles to the record shop just to get a copy of Atomic.
“I’ve been to see her many times. I’ve met her before at the Harrogate conference centre, just to get an autograph. So for me, seeing her – suddenly I had to pull myself together!
“I just concentrated on the walk. Otherwise, I would have become a gibbering wreck.
“You’re suddenly confronted with people that you’ve known for years, that you’ve paid to see – and suddenly they’ve paid to come and see you.”
That was why he chose not to take a photograph of Debbie and the band on the tour – so they could have “a night off”.
Patrick said the experience was “a dream come true”.
“She was listening, the band was listening, they were hanging on every word. It was fantastic.
“It was like doing an ordinary ghost walk, because there were no airs and graces, even though she’s an icon now.”
He said it was a quiet night, with another six or seven people on the tour alongside the Blondie contingent.
“This Scottish couple were blown away. They couldn’t believe it,” he said.
Debbie wasn’t the first famous name to join The Original Ghostwalk of York.
“We’ve had people like Morgan Freeman and Richard Dreyfus and Noel Fielding people like that.
“But she’s the first rock icon that’s come on the tour.”
And after leaving North Yorkshire, Debbie and the gang are off to Somerset – Blondie will play Glastonbury on Sunday (23 June).
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