Chrissie Hynde, famously born and raised in Akron, Ohio, formed the Pretenders in England in March 1978. The original band consisted of Hynde who wrote and sang most of the songs, lead guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon and drummer Martin Chambers.
The band’s seminal first album “Pretenders” was released in January 1980 and debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart. Including the songs “Precious,” “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Kid” and “Brass in Pocket,” the album is one of Rolling Stone’s “Greatest of All Time.” In October 2016 the Pretenders released “Alone” their first album in eight years.
Hynde and the Pretenders are on tour opening for Stevie Nicks, including a Tuesday, Dec. 13, show at the Golden 1 Center. She spoke with The Bee by phone.
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Was the idea of forming a band always in your mind?
I wanted to be in a band from the time I was 16 - who didn’t? I grew up in the 60s. The stumbling block for me was that I was girl. I was very shy around guys. I wasn’t going to pull up to one of the jams they were having cause it was just uncomfortable. I kind of hung around. By the time I was 24 I thought, “Well the moment’s passed; I’m too old to do it now anyway” and then punk happened around 1976 in London. The definition of punk for me was that it was about non-discrimination, and that’s what everyone thought because it wasn’t if you could play or not. It was about a kind of attitude and what you had to say. I felt like I could slip through the net there, and it afforded me that opportunity.
Do you write about yourself or create characters for your songs?
I would like to be a storyteller and be able to talk about things, but I can’t write for other people. I don’t think I could write a song for someone else. I’m always getting it off my chest and expressing myself. So even though I think it’s kind of creepy, I would say my songs are strictly autobiographical.
Will you be singing any duets with Stevie in Sacramento?
I think we will. That’s good fun. To me it’s been the perfect tour. It’s been the most fun tour I’ve ever done to be honest. I never really liked the bigger venues. I like clubs and theaters, but these arenas for some reason feel more intimate than the theaters just cause of the way it’s set up. We’re right at the lip of the stage, and it feels really small, which is what turns me on.
It’s a Stevie Nicks audience, but some people like us as well and there might be some people who come see us. It’s been really fun, the Pretenders are in very very good form everyone’s playing at the height of their powers. Martin (Chambers) has been fantastic. It’s good and we’re digging it. You can’t always say that. When it feels like that you really appreciate it more and more as time goes on. You kind of throw it away in the early days because you don’t have anything to compare it to. When it’s gone, it’s gone. But now I know when it’s good.
What: Pretenders/Stevie Nicks
Where: Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk, Sacramento
Time: Tuesday, December 13, 7 PM
Tickets: $149.50, $89.50, $69.50 and $49.50