Blondie guitarist Chris Stein has shared an appeal for help finding the attacker of Debbie Harry’s vocal coach Barbara Maier Gustern.
The 87-year-old suffered severe brain damage and died after being pushed to the ground by a stranger in New York City.
Maier was pushed from behind without provocation last Thursday evening (March 10) while walking near her home in the Chelsea neighborhood, causing her head to hit the pavement.
The classically trained singer had tutored numerous musical, operatic and pop music stars including Blondie frontwoman Harry, drag artist and playwright Taylor Mac, feminist punk singer Kathleen Hanna and performers in the 2019 Broadway musical revival Oklahoma!
Sharing a poster with a photo of the alleged attacker on Twitter, Stein wrote, “NYC guys someone knows this person.”
A $3,500 (£2,660) reward is being offered by police “for information relating to a murder”.
Punk musician Kathleen Hanna shared the same poster and tweeted: “This person murdered my beloved friend and singing teacher Barbara Maier Gustern. She’s most likely hiding, but someone probably knows where she is.”
The Independent has reached out to the New York Police Department for comment.
On Tuesday (March 22), Maier’s grandson, AJ, shared through her Facebook page that she died at 11:15 a.m. local time.
“Today we lost one of the brightest little flames this world has ever graced,” said AJ.
“I’m asking you all to give me a little time and space, but I want to make time for anyone and everyone who wants to know more about their final moments.”
In a previous post announcing Gustern’s injury, AJ said: “I’m heartbroken beyond belief… do what you can for those around you, no matter how small. Take your time. Preventing unnecessary loss and violence like this starts with us as individuals. We need to take care of each other more.”
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Police released surveillance footage of Gustern’s alleged attacker showing a young woman with pale skin and red hair wearing a black jacket over a white skirt or dress, black tights or leggings and a black scarf or choker.
Friends and relatives told The New York Times that Gustern initially remained conscious after the injury and told a friend: “I’ve never been hit so hard in my life.”
She reportedly gave police a description of her attacker and said the woman shouted a derogatory expression before pushing her.
That evening, friends said, she had rushed to Joe’s Pub in the Public Theater to watch one of her students perform. She typically taught singers in her own apartment, working 10-hour days.
Shortly before his grandmother died, AJ recounted The New York Times: “She’s just a ball of light in a world that’s often dark and doesn’t make sense.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/barbara-maier-blondie-debbie-harry-chris-stein-b2038426.html Blondie’s Chris Stein posts appeal to find Debbie Harry’s vocal coach Barbara Maier Gustern’s killer