The Pretenders Day on the Park
The Pretenders are an English-American rock band formed in Hereford, England in March 1978. The original band consisted of initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), James Honeyman-Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Pete Farndon (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Martin Chambers (drums, backing vocals, percussion). The band has experienced drug-related deaths of the members, and numerous subsequent personnel changes have taken place over the years, with Hynde as the sole continual member.
Hynde, originally from Akron, Ohio, attended Kent State University at the time of the Kent State shootings in 1970. She moved to London in 1973, working at the weekly music paper, NME, and at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's SEX store. She was involved with early versions of The Clash and The Damned, and in short-lived bands such as Masters of the Backside and The Moors Murderers. Pretenders formed during 1978 after Dave Hill at Anchor Records heard some demos. He arranged a rehearsal studio in Denmark Street & the 3 piece consisting of Hynde, Mal Hart, on bass, who had played with Hynde & Steve Strange in The Moors Murderers & Phil Taylor from Motorhead filling in on drums played a selection of Hyndes` original songs. Dave Hill was impressed & arranged a day at Studio 51 to record another demo which although rough felt he had seen & heard enough "star potential" to suggest she form a more permanent regular band to record for his new label, Real Records. Hynde formed a band composed of Pete Farndon (who was later associated romantically with Hynde) on bass, James Honeyman-Scott on guitar, and Gerry Mcilduff on drums. This band, without a name at this stage, recorded five tracks at Regents Park Studio in July 1978, including "Stop Your Sobbing". Gerry Mcilduff was replaced on drums by Martin Chambers, and Hynde named the band "Pretenders" after The Platters song "The Great Pretender"."I know that the Pretenders have looked like a tribute band for the last 20 years. ... And we're paying tribute to James Honeyman Scott and Pete Farndon, without whom we wouldn't be here. And on the other hand, without us, they might have been here, but that's the way it works in rock 'n' roll."
After their Hall of Fame induction, the Pretenders continued touring as a four-part team (Hynde, Seymour, Hobson and Chambers). During 2005, bassist Hobson left and was replaced by Nick Wilkinson, marking the band's first line-up change in thirteen years. That same year, Rhino Records released the four disc and DVD box set Pirate Radio 1979-2005 which spanned the group's entire career. Two disc remastered versions of the first two albums also came out that year with bonus tracks. During 2007, Rhino remastered both Learning To Crawl and Get Close once again with bonus tracks. Not long after, guitarist Seymour left and was replaced by James Walbourne.
The Pretenders' album Break up the Concrete was released through Shangri-La Music on 7 October 2008. It was the band's first Top 40 album in the US in twenty two years. Tracks include "Boots of Chinese Plastic", "Don't Cut Your Hair", "Love's a Mystery", "The Last Ride" and "Almost Perfect". With Hynde was the guitarist James Walbourne, pedal steel player Eric Heywood, bassist Nick Wilkinson and drummer Jim Keltner (on the album only). Chambers returned to the drums on tour with the band. Several one-off shows were performed during the closing months of 2008, including a couple of Christmas charity shows. The 'Break Up The Concrete Tour' began in mid-January and covered most of the United States, with shows until the end of March. It then continued in Europe, with gigs in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Belgium, and the UK during the months of June and July, before returning for a new tour in Canada and the US during August and September 2009. A show from the tour, filmed at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London on 15 July 2009, was released on CD with bonus DVD / Blu-ray on 9 February 2010, titled Pretenders: Live in London. Another tour was announced in May, a double headlining tour in New Zealand and Australia with Blondie for a few winery shows.