The once 1960’s “flower child” life changed after she moved from her native Akron, Ohio to London, England during the early 1970’s, forming one of the most successful British New Wave bands ever, The Pretenders
The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde turns 72 today
Chrissie Hynde’s life changed after she moved from her native United States to England during the early 1970’s, this once “flower child”, became an active figure during the British Punk movement of the 1970’s, and formed one of the most successful New Wave British bands.
Born in Akron, Ohio on September 7, 1951, Chrissie Hynde became interested in music during her teenage years, while at the same time identifying herself with the hippie and counterculture movements, Eastern mysticism, that led her to vegetarianism. She first joined a band during the late 1960’s while attending Kent State University’s Art School, The Sat. Sun. Mat., which also featured a future Devo member. In 1970, Hynde was caught up in the historical Kent State Massacre on May 4, where one of her friends was among the four victims. In 1973 she moves to London, England, to make use of her art background and experience, lading a job in an architectural firm for only eight months. Her career direction then moved drastically, after meeting Rock music journalist Nick Kent that got her a position in the famous British musical magazine NME. After quitting her job at the NME, Hynde started to get involved in the Punk Rock movement that was at the time rising in England. She got a job at the famous Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s then-little-known clothing store, SEX, where she met the Sex Pistols members before the band was formed. Reportedly, Hynde tried to convince Johnny Rotten and then Sid Vicious to marry her, just in order for her to get a work permit, which Vicious accepted but afterwards the marriage didn’t happened. In 1976 she went to France to try to form a band, however, it didn’t worked out and a ter returning to London, England, she formed The Pretenders, a name based by Sam Cooke’s famous song “The Great Pretender”. Their first hit was The Kink’s cover “Stop Your Sobbing”, and their first signature song was “Brass In Pocket”, that turned out to be a worldwide hit; even coming from a Punk background, The Pretenders music had little to do with Punk itself, and was labeled as New Wave. The 1980’s saw The Pretenders going through several line up changes, but the band scored more hits, including the 1982 “Back in the Chain Gang”, and most notably, the 1986 smash hit “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, included on the album “Get Close”, a song that is still regarded today as their finest, alongside the 1994 hit “I’ll Stand By You”. At the same time during that era, Hynde was also investing on her own solo career, and in 1985 she scored a solo hit in a duet with UB40, covering Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.” Hynde, who had a daughter with The Kinks’ Ray Davies, married later with Jim Kerr, the frontman of Simple Minds, with whom she had another daughter, but the couple is now divorced. The singer successfully opened a vegan restaurant in her hometown of Akron, Ohio, The VegiTerranean that was voted among the top five vegan restaurants in the U.S, but in 2011 closed, owing to the economic climate, according to Hynde. Today Chrissie Hynde’s career has been more active than ever, touring and making new music, and the girl from Akron, Ohio who once dreamed of big Rock N’ Roll dreams, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 as a member of The Pretenders.
Look back at the 1986 music video “Don’t Get Me Wrong” by The Pretenders
Also remember the 1994 music video “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders
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