Chris Stein

Debbie Harry received the lion's share of attention during Blondie's reign during the late '70s and early '80s, but guitarist Chris Stein is often credited with helping to shape the group's sound, as he penned (or co-penned) most of the group's best-known songs. Born in Brooklyn, NY on January 5, 1950, Stein's first career goals were non-musical, as he wanted to be an Egyptologist as a youngster. But when his parents bought him his first guitar at the age of 11, his focus eventually shifted to music. Stein's ensuing teenaged years were not without turbulence, however, as he was kicked out of school due to the length of his hair and suffered a nervous breakdown, and his father passed away due to a heart attack. By the early '70s, New York was swept up in a glam rock scene spearheaded by the New York Dolls, and Stein took note -- looking to join a similarly styled band. He didn't have to wait long, as he happened to stumble upon a local group called the Stilettos, which included Debbie Harry as one of their singers. Stein soon joined the group as their guitarist, and soon developed a romantic relationship with Harry.