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.
About the author:
Christine (Ellen “Chrissie”) Hynde (born September 7, 1951) is an American musician who is best known as a founding member of the rock band The Pretenders.
Inspired by hippie counter-culture, Hynde worked in London with Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood at their punk-themed clothing store, SEX. In 1978, she formed her own band, The Pretenders, with the late Pete Farndon, the late James Honeyman-Scott and Martin Chambers. As singer, songwriter and guitarist, she has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history. She has also released a number of hits with other musicians including Frank Sinatra and UB40. Hynde and The Pretenders were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
“Chrissie Hynde’s autobiography, Reckless, out-rocks them all. You can read her book and wax nostalgic about band culture in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Or you can promptly check yourself into rehab. She wouldn’t care; as she writes in the prologue, ‘I regret half of this story and the other half is the sound you heard.’ …. Rock on, Chrissie.”
—Sibbie O’Sullivan, The Washington Post
“Chrissie Hynde serves up a hearty and satisfying meal in Reckless, writing with the sort of candor and humor rarely found in books by her male counterparts…. In the end, it’s understandable that Hynde has some regrets, but it’s also heartening that bad girls sometimes finish first.”
—Mark Shanahan, The Boston Globe
“Restless and emphatic… a tell-all memoir (and) given all Ms. Hynde has to tell, it’s sharp, posturing, moving, exposing, evasive and at times obtuse.”
—Lavinia Greenlaw, The Wall Street Journal
“Frank and witty… Hynde’s story contains no shortage of eye-popping hi-jinx and hilarious missteps which, together, give the reader a stunningly clear idea of the character at hand. Hynde’s writing style might also be described as classically masculine. It’s hard-boiled enough to suit Sam Spade, and her book snaps with wit.”
—Jim Farber, New York Daily News