A Drunken Poet's Dream

Reckless: My Life as a Pretender

Pretenders frontwoman gets as far as album No. 2

A Drunken Poet's Dream

"I don't like how much this story is influenced by them," opines Chrissie Hynde about drugs well into her musical memoir, but "in the end, this story is a story of drug abuse." The perennial Pretender, ace songwriter, powerful rhythm guitarist, and possessor of one of rock & roll's finest voices has more to share, thankfully. Life begun in mid-American splendor, she was absorbed into rock & roll gypsydom after the violence visited upon her classmates at Kent State. Seeking out London's formative punk scene, she then becomes "that loud-mouthed American" while coalescing the classic Pretenders lineup into one of punk's most accomplished and commercial bands. Prickly with the occasional poetic grace note, the only fault with this thrilling book is it ends with the overdoses of bassist Pete Farndon and guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, as if the rest of her life past those first two LPs were too dull to recount.

Reckless: My Life As A Pretender

by Chrissie Hynde
Doubleday, 336 pp., $26.95

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Chrissie Hynde, Pretenders, Pete Farndon, James Honeyman-Scott, Gift Guide 2015

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