On this date, 8 December 1977, riots broke outside of Her Majesty’s Theatre in Brisbane, Australia, at a Blondie concert.
The concert was apart of their 1977 UK Tour. The band was starting to make a big name for themselves, and thousands of fans waited outside the venue to see the band. Those fans would go from excited to upset when it was announced that the concert was cancelled due to Debbie Harry becoming ill due to apparently eating too many cherries.
The crowd began booing and complaining after the announcement. People began throwing bottles and cans at the stage equipment and even attempted to set the speakers on fire. Five people attempted to climb on to the stage but were stopped by road crew members.
The five people came back with an iron gate and attempted to smash the door down with it. Police had to be called after the iron bar went through the door and into the lower dressing room area, which almost hit others near by. All five were later charged with destruction of property, and three of them had to go to children’s court.
The show was the only time Blondie ever cancelled a concert in their time together. The show would later be rescheduled for December 18 of that year.
The video here, Blondie performed to a playback of “Denis” on Dutch TV. “Denis” was originally titled “Denise” written by Neil Levenson in 1963. Blondie changed it to its masculine form, pronounced without the final “e”. The cover of the song—included in their second album, Plastic Letters, recorded a few months before the riot—helped Debbie Harry & co. break into the international market.