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Wonderful slice of life from the late sixties( hippy era) early seventies( punk era) Chrissies style of writing is strong, poetic and melodic...and captures the realities of over excess, creativity and how perhaps the one depends on the other..or drives the other. Difficult to know for sure...this is a very real memoir! She says basically..."This is how it was"
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A snotty, arrogant turn on" read a early review of a typical Chrissie Hynde live performance fronting the Pretenders. Never a woman to compromise, Chrissie has always been known for her feminist world view not to mention her radical vegetarianism. But that persona, as this superb rock biography shows, is tempered by a touching vulnerability and a genuine wit. Despite a downbeat ending to this book - with the drug- linked deaths of both Pretenders bassist Pete Farndon and guitarist James Honeyman Scott - this book is fascinating stuff. Born in 1951 on Akron, Ohio, Chrissie takes us through a somewhat chaotic life prior to founding the Pretenders in the late 70s. An Iggy Pop obsessive, she was at Kent State University during the fatal riots of 1970. She lived in Canada, Mexico and Paris before falling in love with London. She has ingested a factory full of drugs and booze. She worked at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's shop in London in the mid 70s and later was at the heart of the punk scene, fronting fledgling early incarnations of both the Clash and the Damned. She nearly got hitched to Sid Vicious (but only to be allowed to stay in Britain) and former partner Ray Davies, but didn't marry either. This is a book full of history, tragedy, belly laughs and the author's acerbic but, in the end, likeable personality. While this book is raunchy and acutely honest, it is no kiss and tell celebrity shag-fest, and it's all the better for that. Read it even if you didn't like The Pretenders. It's hugely entertaining and very, very cool.
Rosanna Arquette spits out Chrissie's ripe prose with real venom, even if she does struggle occasionally with some of the English place names. Her reading is far from perfect, but it's very human, even laughing out loud during a funny bit at one point. If your idea of fun is hearing the star of Desperately Seeking Susan saying the word "bollocks", this is very much for you.
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