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The Pretenders: Brass In Pocket

THE PRETENDERS have an interesting back-story. Chrissie Hynde, a girl from Akron, OH, moved to London in 1973 to work for the English Music Magazine, NME. Her real goal was to be in a Rock Band and she thought that with all the action coming out of England she might get a shot. She got involved with Punk Bands like the Clash and the Damned, and in 1978 put her own band together with Crissie on Vocals and Rhythm, James Honeyman-Scott, Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Pete Farndon Bass Guitar and drummer, Martin Chambers.

 

Chrissie named the band after her favorite PLATTERS song, "The Great Pretender." Then as the band was taking off, two members died: first was Honeywell-Scott (heart failure from alleged cocaine abuse) and then Farndon (reportedly due to heroin--drowned in the bathtub).

 

Despite these tragic ends, Ms. Hynde was determined to break the glass ceiling and be one of the first female Rock Stars. She recruited Robbie McIntosh on Guitar and Malcolm Foster on Bass. That started a trend with many players in and out of The Pretenders and Chrissie the survivor.

 

She took a break for a while and then released 3 singles which all did well in the U.K. but #3 was the Magic Ticket, BRASS IN POCKET, went #1 on the Brit Charts, and hit #14 in the U.S. The group had many hit singles and albums with many different band members, and Ms. Hyde even went solo for a while...she was The Pretenders.

 

In 2005 The Pretenders were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Chrissie dedicated the award to the two original players who had passed away and were waiting for her in Rock and Roll Heaven, Honeyman-Scott and Farndon. Fun Fact: their song "My City Was Gone" is now the theme music for The Rush Limbaugh Show, which drove her crazy. Here they are in 1980, Live on Brit TV's Top Of The Pops and doing their signature hit: BRASS IN POCKET, with great picture and sound. Rock On! @therealdonrocks

 

A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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