Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chrissie Hynde: The Last of the Independents

Well it's been 22 years in the making: I last saw Chrissie Hynde and her Pretenders in 1984 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. She was on the triumphant "Learning to Crawl" tour, having just mourned the loss of two bandmates (James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, whom she had recently fired). "Back on the Chain Gang" had become their biggest hit ever, and Middle of the Road" was rising fast on the charts. On it, she sang about the realities of growing middle-aged(!):

"Don't harass me kid,
Can't you tell I'm going home, I'm tired as hell,
I'm not the cat I used to be,
I've got a kid, I'm 33, baby."

Having recruited Robbie McIntosh and Malcolm Foster to fill in the gaps, it sure seemed like Chrissie had a real band that would flourish. It wasn't meant to be. The years since have been a revolving door of collaborators and some occasionally uneven material, yet Chrissie has always remained one of my all-time favorite rocker chicks. (I mean really, how can you not love a woman who is just as skanky today as she was 30 years ago?)

So we're off to see the Pretenders -- who incidentally have remained the same lineup since 1994 quasi-comeback "Last of the Independents" -- tonight at Roseland. If Chrissie was "middle-aged" at 33, I can only imagine how she sees herself at going-on-55. Can't wait to find out. Full review tomorrow!

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