Reckless: My Life as a Pretender
As fan of Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders I was looking forward to reading this book. Early on Hynde warns the reader by saying she could never have written the book while her parents were alive. The book starts out slow as Hynde spent a lot of time with her youth and family history. As an author Hynde is dispassionate. Odd because her songs are the exact opposite. The book ends with the death of James Honeyman-Scot (lead guitar, 6/14/1982 cocaine overdose) and Pete Farndon (bass, 4/14/1983 heroin overdose). This is a natural place to break a book if you plan to write a second follow up. Unfortunately if you came into the book thinking you were going to be reading about The Pretenders – you aren’t. What you are going to be reading is the account of juvenile delinquent who loves drugs and hanging out with other losers. What saves the book is her love of Rock music. A love I also share, so it’s interesting to see her life start revolving around concerts and musicians rather than drugs and dealers.
In the late 1970s Hynde finds herself in London, hanging around bands like the Sex Pistol and The Clash. It’s amazing she wasn’t invited into one of the hundred of punk bands that sprung up during the 1970. At the time she was writing songs and could actually play the guitar. Unwittingly she lucked out. By the time The Pretenders arrived in 1979, punk was over, and her band didn’t get labeled as punk. In the meantime Hynde had time to develop her song writing and find the right musicians to flesh out her ideas.