Reckless

Reckless

My Life as A Pretender

Book - 2015
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Chrissie Hynde, for nearly four decades the singer/songwriter/ undisputed leader of the Pretenders, is a justly legendary figure.

Few other rock stars have managed to combine her swagger, sexiness, stage presence, knack for putting words to music, gorgeous voice and just all-around kick-assedness into such a potent and alluring package. From "Tatooed Love Boys" and "Brass in Pocket" to "Talk of the Town" and "Back on the Chain Gang," her signature songs project a unique mixture of toughness and vulnerability that millions of men and women have related to. A kind of one- woman secret tunnel linking punk and new wave to classic guitar rock, she is one of the great luminaries in rock history.
 
Now, in her no-holds-barred memoir Reckless, Chrissie Hynde tells, with all the fearless candor, sharp humor and depth of feeling we've come to expect, exactly where she came from and what her crooked, winding path to stardom entailed. Her All-American upbringing in Akron, Ohio, a child of postwar power and prosperity. Her soul capture, along with tens of millions of her generation, by the gods of sixties rock who came through Cleveland--Mitch Ryder, David Bowie, Jeff Back, Paul Butterfield and Iggy Pop among them. Her shocked witness in 1970 to the horrific shooting of student antiwar protestors at Kent State. Her weakness for the sorts of men she calls "the heavy bikers" and "the get-down boys." Her flight from Ohio to London in 1973 essentially to escape the former and pursue the latter. Her scuffling years as a brash reviewer for New Musical Express, shop girl at the Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood boutique 'Craft Must Wear Clothes But The Truth Loves To Go Naked', first-hand witness to the birth of the punk movement, and serial band aspirant. And then ,at almost the last possible moment, her meeting of the three musicians who comprised the original line-up of The Pretenders, their work on the indelible first album "The Pretenders," and the rocket ride to "Instant" stardom, with all the disorientation and hazards that involved. The it all comes crashing back down to earth with the deaths of lead guitarist James Honeyman Scott and bassist Peter Farndon, leaving her bruised and saddened, but far from beaten. Because Chrissie Hynde is, among other things, one of rock's great survivors.
 
We are lucky to be living in a golden age of great rock memoirs. In the aptly titled Reckless , Chrissie Hynde has given us one of the very best we have. Her mesmerizing presence radiates from every line and page of this book.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2015]
Edition: First United States edition.
ISBN: 9780385540612
Characteristics: x, 312 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm

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j
jquick99
Sep 04, 2017

I kept wondering to Hubby...I'm 30% in (50%, 60%, 70%)...when is she going to be in a band? And then there's NO back story for Precious (besides another band member was fiddling with some music, and she decided to write the lyrics). Yet, she wrote about every concert she went to, details how to live with near zero money (shoplift, squat, take advantage of giving parents), lots of drugs...

h
HPL06105
Dec 14, 2016

A good read for music and Pretenders fans.

u
uncommonreader
Nov 20, 2016

Rock and roll, drugs and sex, in that order. It is interesting that in a book in which Hynde "tells all", one does not gain much insight into what she really thinks. I would have like more on the music, less on the scene. The book filled in some blanks, but overall was unsatisfying.

r
renea70
Sep 12, 2016

I really enjoyed it. She talks about how nothing came easy while trying to get a band going and when they did get going, new problems came along with it.
She talks about the loss of friends and band mates due to drugs/alcohol and how she also got caught up with biker gangs etc.. You don't have to be a big Pretender fan to enjoy the book.

t
texaskdog
Mar 18, 2016

Pretty much a waste of time. 3/4 of the book was pre-Pretenders and the Pretenders were lightly touched on, but just the first 2 albums. For a book written in 2015? Not worth the read at all.

j
Jeffsuke
Mar 14, 2016

Good bio of her life and struggle to find her place in music. Concentrates on her life and experiences not much on her music. Kind of abruptly ends with The Pretenders success. The last few chapters seem rushed like she is waiting for volume 2?
I enjoyed it in that is was informative to me, a casual Pretenders fan but don't expect any musical insights into her library of material.

c
christopherfry
Jan 30, 2016

Many would say this book is not well written, but it's the story that's interesting, not the writing. Ms. Hynde lets us in on the many dark corners of her life, in a cautionary tale of the dangers of drink and drugs. One wonders and strongly suspects that had she not followed this rocky road, she really would have ended up like the rest of us – a nobody. But I think she'd be the first to tell you, that a nobody is really the best somebody you'd want to be.

f
fdb045
Dec 08, 2015

Enjoyable, easy read.

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