To be absolutely honest, Chrissie Hynde was one of the first female rock ’n’ rollers I seriously got into at the very beginning of the 1980s. Considering the times, she represented something very different in rock ’n’ roll for a female performer and fronted an amazing band in Pretenders.
These 2015 memoirs covers the period from Hynde’s childhood years in the 1950s through to the deaths of lead guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon in 1982 and 1983 respectively. Although Hynde has continued (with drummer Martin Chambers) recording and performing with Pretenders, she rightfully considers this moment as the end of the band, to all intents and purpose.
This frank assessment of her past is somewhat consistent throughout this autobiographical tome – to such an extent that she had to wait till her parents had passed on to publish. Besides the stories behind the formation and ascent of Pretenders, much of Hynde’s story is relevant to rock ’n’ roll fans for her time as a teenage fan – meeting rock stars like David Bowie and Iggy Pop (and many others) – during the early 70s, and as a young adult living in London – first writing for the NME and then being in the centre of the maelstrom that was the original punk explosion, in this respect her friendships with Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, UB40, the Damned et al. Not to mention her marriage to Ray Davies of the Kinks!
Told in a very matter of fact manner, Hynde keeps things down to earth and relatable. Well, as much as one is able to relate to her rather incredible story – she doesn’t think it’s much of a big deal but well….
Essential reading for enthusiasts of the sharp edgier edge of rock ’n’ roll and the punk revolution and of course, Pretenders fanatics!