16 January 2010

chrissie hynde

today i suddenly remembered this newspaper clipping i had taped up in my locker in high schol. it came to me so out of the blue that i had to look it up. the article--was there a picture with it?--was about chrissie hynde kicking out the window of a police car. when i googled it i found a reference to the event in this salon.com article by joyce millman:

click here for entire article

here's an excerpt:

There had been tough female rockers before, and tender ones, and ambitious ones, and even ones with dirty mouths, but there had never been one who was all of these things at once. And there certainly had never been one who strapped on an electric guitar and made female subjects and sensibilities, long relegated to the worlds of folk, blues and "women's music," the focal point of a rock 'n' roll band -- and a mixed-gender one at that. "I'll never feel like a man in a man's world," Hynde sang on the fade-out of "Lovers of Today" on "Pretenders" -- and for female rock fans who felt excluded from or pandered to or mocked by the music they loved, that line had a life-changing resonance.

In concert, Hynde acted out her contradictions in ways that were fascinatingly evocative -- she alternated male rock-guitarist poses (the crouch, the windmill) with graceful, swivel-kneed dance moves, and her hand gestures while singing were as delicate as a geisha's. She was also brattily provocative: "Thank you, girls," was how she'd typically acknowledge applause, and she played several shows on the band's first tour wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "bitch" (take that, Courtney Love). And in the age of Blondie and Pat Benatar, Hynde never flashed so much as an inch of cleavage or leg. Throughout her career, her look has remained the same (bangs in her eyes, pants, T-shirts, jackets buttoned up to the chin), although, as an animal rights activist, she has long since stopped wearing leather.

Hynde partied as hard as the boys on the Pretenders' early concert tours; arrested once in Memphis for being drunk and disorderly, she kicked out the window of the police car while being wrestled into the back seat and spent the night in jail. But Hynde started toning it down after she met Ray Davies of the Kinks, on whom she'd had a childhood crush, and about whom she wrote, during her rock critic days, "Raymond Douglas Davies is the only songwriter I can think of who can write such personal material (and he is always very personal), and never get embarrassing." Davies wanted to get married and start a family, which, not surprisingly, freaked out just-one-of-the-guys Hynde: "The idea of my being a great big, huge, fat pregnant woman with tits and everything was horrifying," she recalled in a 1984 Rolling Stone interview. "I couldn't relate to it. I've always related to being like a bloke." Hynde and Davies set out to get married one day in April 1982, but the London registrar refused to issue them a license because they wouldn't stop arguing in his office. Although they remained together, they never did wed.

and here's ms. hynde covering radiohead:

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