Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by re-incarnation. Can I be Chrissie Hynde in my next life? (Only the uber cool stuff like the bangs and eyeliner and poise and musical talent - not the three divorces and the PETA activation).
The Pretenders were formed in 1978 when a Cleveland born Chrissie Hynde moved to England and (long story very short) found three others with the same passion. Hynde (guitar, vocals), James Honeyman-Scott (guitar, keyboard), Peter Farndon (bass) and Martin Chambers (drums) would embark on a post-punk, drug-induced, hit-filled joy ride.
The Pretenders sound was a result of the gap between 70's early punk and the coming electronica of the 80's. The band was heavily influenced by a little bit of the Kinks (Hynde married front man Ray Davies), a little bit of the Clash (Mick Jones and Hynde were in a band together), a little bit of the Sex Pistols (Hynde gave Sid Vicious his signature lock necklace), and a little bit of the Damned (Hynde played guitar for them in their early years).
The first of many hits, and the song to get them "signed" was Stop Your Sobbing (my PMS hymnal). Other early singles include, Brass In Pocket, Talk Of The Town, Message Of Love, and I Go To Sleep.
Shortly after the breakthrough success of their first album, The Pretenders, Chrissie canned Peter Farndon for excessive drug use (I say excessive, because... well it's sex, drugs and rock 'n roll isn't it? Some drug use is acceptable). On June 16, 1982 two days after firing Farndon, James Honeyman-Scott died of a cocaine overdose. Farndon would die of a heroine overdose a year later
After the deaths of Fardon and Honeyman-Scott, Hynde would go on to hire various session players and oddities. Hynde is the only member of The Pretenders to last it's duration (you know it's because she's so dang cool - the essence of cool - here's a reminder).