Guitarist , songwriter and occasional actor Frank Infante rose to prominence as a member of Blondie, the most commercially flourishing band to emerge from the much-vaunted punk/new wave movement of the late 1970s, along with Deborah Harry (singer), Chris Stein (guitarist), Clement Burke (drummer), James Destri (keyboard player) and Nigel Harrison (bassist). During his tenure from 1977 to 1982, Infante contributed to the group’s second to sixth albums, Plastic Letters (1977), Parallel Lines (1978), Eat to the Beat (1978), Autoamerican (1980) and The Hunter (1982), as well as the compilation album, The Best of Blondie (1981). He also experienced such No.1 hits as “Heart of Glass,” Sunday Girl,” “Atomic,” “Rapture” and “The Tide Is High,” as well as numerous Top Ten hits like “Denis,” “(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear,” “Hanging on the Telephone” and “Dreaming.” Aside from playing the guitar, Infante also wrote some of the group’s singles, including “Victor,” “Underground Girl” and “I Know But I Don’t Know.”
Infante and Harrison were both left out of the group when Blondie reformed in 1999, 17 years after the band broke up. In 2006, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of Blondie.
As an actor, Infante has acted in the Alex Monty Canawati films Citizens of Perpetual Indulgence (2000) and Return to Babylon (2004).
Childhood and Family:
Frank Infante, whose nickname is The Freak, now resides in Los Angeles, California. He is 5 feet 8½ inch tall.
Heart of Glass
Frank Infante began his musical career with the Power Pop/New Wave Band Blondie, a New York City-based group formed by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein in 1974, and the lineup fluctuated over the following year as drummer Clement Burke joined in May 1975, bassist Gary Valentine joined in August, and keyboardist James Destri in October, when he was hired to replace Valentine in July 1977. Three months later, Blondie’s second album, Plastic Letters, on Chrysalis Records hit the music store. Unfortunately, Infante was not pictured on the album cover though he contributed to the album. In November, Blondie developed into sextet with the addition of bass player Nigel Harrison. As a result, Infante switched to guitar.
With Blondie, Infante scored huge commercial success in March 1978 with the cover of Randy and the Rainbows’ 1963 hit “Denise,” renamed “Denis,” which became a Top Ten hit in the United Kingdom. Their second single, “(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear,” followed its predecessor, becoming the group’s next single to become a U.K Top Ten hit. However, Infante and the Blondie did not break into worldwide market until they released the third album Parallel Lines in September 1978. Teaming up with British producer/songwriter Mike Chapman, the album spawned hit singles like “Picture This,” “Hanging on the Telephone,” “Sunday Girl” and “One Way or Another.” It was the disco-influenced “Heart of Glass,” where Infante played the main guitar hook, that took Blondie to No. 1 in both the U.K and the U.S. Eat to the Beat, Blondie’s forth recording, was released in October that same year, and produced the single “Atomic,” which became the group’s third British No. 1 hit in March 1980.
Infante and his group went on to achieve victory when the reggaeish tune “The Tide Is High,” the first single taken from Blondie’s fifth album, Autoamerican (released in November 1980), peaked at No. 1 in the U.S and the U.K. This was followed by the second single “Rapture,” a rap-oriented in which Infante played the guitar solo, which topped the U.S. pop charts and went Top Ten in the U.K. However, the group’s diverse style mirrored a lessened involvement by its members. As a result, Infante filed a suit. He charged that he was not being used on the records although he settled and remained in the lineup. In 1981, the members of Blondie worked on their individual ventures, and released The Best of Blondie in the fall of the year.
The Blondie rejoined in May 1982 to launch the sixth album, The Hunter, which was considered a commercial flop. At the same period, Stein became seriously ill with the genetic disease pemphigus, and the Blondie eventually split up in October that year. The Blondie reformed in 1999, but both Infante and Harrison were not included in the lineup.
A bassist-turn-guitar player, Infante also wrote some of Blondie’s songs, such as “I Know But I Don’t Know,” “Victor” and “Underground Girl.” He has toured and recorded with Divinyls and Iggy Pop. Infante also has emerged as actor in the films Citizens of Perpetual Indulgence (2000), directed, written by and starring Alex Monty Canawati, and Return to Babylon (2004), again for director Canawati.