Wednesday, November 08, 2017

RECKLESS, MY LIFE AS A PRETENDER




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Reckless, My Life As A Pretender, Chrissie Hynde, Doubleday, 2015, 312 pp
 
 
I meant to read this when it first came out. Then I forgot. Earlier this year I was reminded when my blogger friend Susan at The Cue Card reviewed it.
 
Who was not a Pretenders fan in the 1980s? I was singing in a cover band at the time (back then it was known as a TOP40 band because we performed the hits of the day as long as people could dance to them.) I sang "Brass In Pocket" with all my heart, though I could never quite capture the sound of Chrissie's voice.

Her memoir is a trip through the 50s, 60s, and 70s. First in her hometown of Akron, OH, where her dad worked for Bell Telephone and her mom was the embodiment of the "feminine mystique." Chrissie was a good girl in her childhood but once she got hooked on music her path was set.

The 60s was high school, getting high, and going to see any band she could get a ride to. Somehow she graduated and got accepted at Kent State. Yes, she was there in the crowd during the shooting of college students protesting the Vietnam War.

Chrissie was not born under a bad sign. She had luck protecting her throughout a wild and dangerous young adult life. She learned guitar, she loved guitar gods, she took anything available to get high, but always she was trying to form a band. It was a long time coming but finally in London, The Pretenders became reality. Her book tells the whole story.

The Pretenders also became on "overnight" success. None of us knew it had taken her over a decade to get there. The substance abuse of course went into overdrive but her luck held. Like any self respecting rocker who plans to have a long career, she eventually quit all the drugs and tours to this day.

Chrissie Hynde is not only a great songwriter. She is a great writer. Reading her book is like having her right in your head telling her incredible story. Quite simply, she rocks!!


(Reckless, My Life As A Pretender is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

10 comments:

  1. Aren't you lucky to read the memoir of one of your idols?! Sounds like a great memoir to listen to on audiobook.

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    1. I think you are right about the audiobook. I don't know who the reader is but it is worth checking into.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your review!

    Celebrity memoirs can be so much fun to read... I really enjoyed Bryan Cranston's memoir A Life In Parts last year.

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    1. I am a fool for a life story, even when the person is not famous. But if it is someone I have admired, all the better!

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  3. Obviously, this story was very meaningful for you. How nice that you were able to read and enjoy it. I, myself, seldom read autobiographies or memoirs due to what is most likely an unreasonable prejudice. I should probably be more open to them.

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    1. Well, you are entitled to your prejudices, especially since you seem to have so few. I would be interested to know, though, what is your particular prejudice to this particular form?

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  4. Ha ha rock she does!! Thanks for the shoutout Judy. So glad you played Brass in Pocket & her songs back in the day, very cool. Her voice was that of a rock goddess. She was bold and stuck to her dreams despite all the stuff in between. Still to this day when I hear an old song of hers: I think man this is good. or How did she do that ?! ...

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    1. From one fan to another! I just ordered the new Joni Mitchell biography. Very excited!

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  5. This looks like a biography I would enjoy, I always loved Chrissie Hynde and thought it was hilarious when she turned up as a singer/guitar player in Friends, it was just too funny.

    Anyway, I thought I followed your blog and it is on my list but I never saw any of your posts in my reading list but somehow, because we always "talked", I didn't notice. Now I checked and noticed that even though you are on my list, I still could press the "follow" button on your page. Weird.

    So, I did it - again - you seem to be on my list now. Hopefully.

    Have a good day,
    Marianne

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    1. Yes, it is a great memoir/autobiography. It made me get my guitar out again!
      Thanks for "finding" me again and stopping by to comment. I have found that the "follow" button needs refreshing from time to time on other blogs as well. Who knows why that happens? Not me!

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