Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Talk of the Town

The sages tell us that in life there are but three great truths. The first: all things may be reduced to moisture, from whence they came. The second: Nothing is forever. And the third: If you have a chance to blog about the Pretenders, take it, dummy.

So luckily for me, the merry mailman just brought me Rhino's new deluxe reissues of the Pretenders' third and fourth albums.

I really don't need to go into detail about the music here, especially on Learning to Crawl; songs like "Back on the Chain Gang" "Middle of the Road" "My City Was Gone" and "2000 Miles" are classics all, and the bonus tracks -- including the sly and funny "Fast or Slow (The Law's the Law)" and the often-bootlegged live version of "Money" (the Motown blast of noise, not the Pink Floyd bummer) are icing on the cake. Get Close isn't quite as good, as its Big 80s production hasn't aged as well as you might hope, but there are still great songs galore here, including the ineffably poignant "Hymn to Her," and again the bonus tracks are tons of fun.

Besides, you've probably already figured out that the real reason I'm talking about this stuff is as an excuse to post the video for "Don't Get Me Wrong". In which Chrissie Hynde, still the coolest woman to ever strap on an electric guitar, gets to fulfill the glorious fantasy that she's in an episode of The Avengers.

For my money, the most transcendent moment in rock video history remains the clip's next to final shot -- Chrissie, through the miracle of seamless editing, actually stepping into Patrick Macnee-as-John-Steed's apartment from the series and flashing him that knowingly sexy Mrs. Peel look. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if Chrissie goes to her grave thinking that was the high point of her life.


Cleveland Bob said...

Hey man,

Thanks for the link to that Chrissie video. I had never ever seen that before and you're right, it's a transcendent moment indeed.

We still love us some Chrissie back here in NE Ohio.

And just in case you've never heard of them, her big brother is quite renowned in his own right.

NYMary said...

I thought the third was "never start a land war in Asia."

trifecta said...

I still get annoyed to this day that the hillbilly heroin addicted gasbag uses Pretenders for his bumper music.

four legs good said...

I love the Pretenders.

I was in a bar in NJ once and the DJ sez, any requests?

I said, "play some Pretenders."

He sez, "we only play rock n roll here."

I said, "Better not tell Chrissie she's not rock n roll"


True story.

steve simels said...

trifecta --

You're reading my mind. I was just about to add a postscript about that.

Mike said...

Please forgive my indulgences as I throw out some love for my fellow Buckeyes: Chrissie Hynde, The Raspberries, The James Gang, Devo, Pere Ubu/Rocket From The Tombs, The Dead Boys, Ohio Players, O'Jays, Tommy James, Dean Martin, Doris Day, The Isley Brothers, Maureen McGovern, Tracy Chapman, Rachel Sweet, Kim & Kelly Deal, Blue Ash, The Mills Brothers, Guided By Voices, The Waitresses, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and many other wonderful folks.

walter von wegen said...

SS, you might try & explain to your international readers what a drag people like Dush Windbag are in the US media since 1990 (when I first stumbled across his AM rants). We don't have talk radio here in Europe, by way of explanation, and it would help a lot for outsiders to get some understanding of (dirty, fugly, smelly) 'Merican politics and why creeps like Karl Rowe have such an influence still.

megisi said...

As bracing and innvovative as their recorded work was, the Pretenders live was about as good as it ever got, especially when they were playing theaters seating about 2 grand.

Damn, didn't time, money and contentment (not to mention overdoses and a couple of personal misunderstandings) take the edge off some incredible rock music?

steve simels said...

Walter --

I had no idea we had any European readers.

I'm frankly speechless.


Where are you located, if I may ask>

JeffCO said...

Chrissie... sigh. I remember seeing them at the Tower in Philly around 1984. Someone threw her a rose - she picked it up, looked at it, and tossed it aside. My friend ran up and grabbed it for me later. I dried it and had that damn thing till it disintegrated.

Mister Pleasant said...

Wow, that brings back great memories - lusting after Mrs. Emma Peel in the mid 60s to the joys of anything by the Pretenders thru the first three albums. I saw the Pretenders at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheater (what a kick of a venue) along with the then unknown openers the Go-Gos sometime about 1981. Belinda and the girls in polka dresses were a great warm up for the orginal line up of the Pretenders.