From Chrissie Hynde, one of rock's most iconic, alluring, kick-ass, and (let's face it) sexy women, a brilliant, no-holds-barred memoir of a rock life lived to the hilt.
Chrissie Hynde, the songwriter and front woman of The Pretenders in its various incarnations, has for 35 years been one of the most admired and adored and imitated figures in rock. This long-awaited memoir tells her life story in full and utterly fascinating detail, from her all-American Ohio '50s childhood to her classic baby-boomer seduction by the rock of the '60s to her sojourn in the crucible of punk that was '70s London to her instant emergence with her band, The Pretenders, in 1980 into stardom as a frontwoman and songwriter. She brings a fantastic eye for detail, a withering and sardonic sense of humor, and a fearless and sometimes naked emotional honesty to her memoir, and every line, every word of it is unmistakably hers. It is sure to be recognized as a classic of rock literature - and, man, is it fun to listen to.
With an introduction read by Chrissie Hynde.
©2015 Chrissie Hynde (P)2015 Random House Audio
I've seen the Pretenders and I've heard Chrissie speak. How in the world did they choose Rosanna Arquette to read this? Really disconnected me from the story.
Chrissie yes.. Rosanna no!
It was interesting to find out how the Pretenders came to be. Not enough story about Chrissie's personal life as an adult.
Probably not, just not that interesting.
Unbelievable, boring, mistakes
I felt like there was a lot more story to be told. Maybe Chrissie will do a follow up?
I loved this. If you want to know how an average girl growing up in Akron, OH kicks it in the music scene - this is it in all its gritty loveliness
Rock bios so easily slip into self-indulgent pondering and rose-tinted reminiscence, but Chrissie Hynde avoids both of those traps, delivering a book that’s honest, compelling and direct.Reckless has been one of the most enjoyable rock bios that I've read or listened to. But I was still left waiting for more. Chrissie leads you on a compelling journey through her early years of drugs and hopelessness in Ohio, through the excitement of 1970s London up to the second album, global success and the loss of half of her band. But there's a whole career's worth of stories yet to tell, and I hope she has another volume planned.
Rosanna Arquette was a good choice of narrator; her voice is not as deep as Chrissie's, but she has a confident edge that suits the book. But while Arquette is a good reader, she's also the one problem in the audiobook: If you're British, you're going to have trouble ignoring her criminally painful assaults against British accents. We all know foreign place names and accents can seem weird to Americans, but to hear Rosanna Arquette struggle to mimic a London, Birmingham or Welsh accent is an agonising distraction. I'd rather listen to a cat in a liquidiser than hear Ms Arquette impersonate Sid Vicious again.
Her rawness of becoming a female rock n roll star!
Her honesty about her parents.
Determined by content by story.
I wish she went on past her bandmates deaths. I wanted to know more about the development and songs beyond the first two albums. She is so much more.
I would like to more in depth of a women in the harsh world of rock n' roll. I felt this was written with kindness and not just harsh reality with respect.
just one more book lover
Loved this memoir. Rosanna Arquette has a softer voice but channels Hynde expertly.
Hynde documents the transformation of a 1950s girl from Ohio into one of the great "frontmen" of the 70s and 80s, leading the Pretenders. A great songwriter, Hynde created rock classics like Brass In Pocket.
She spends a lot of time on her childhood and a good deal more on early 70s London as punk hit. The chapters on the Pretenders go by in a breeze.
But that is okay. This is a musician's coming of age story. And she came of age at a colorful time and place. She knew the Pistols, the Clash and Iggy Pop. She does a great job talking about the rise of that scene while also paying due adoration to her 60s predecessors.
The Pretenders ended in that incarnation when two band mates died within a year. And though Hynde went on to more albums, her book ends with their deaths.
Chrissie's story is her story. Ms. Arquette didn't do it justice. In my opinion the flow wasn't great - some should have been edited. Too bad Chrissie could have read her own story as Patti Smith did.
I enjoyed this tell-all, and the details of Chrissie's story feel genuine, even when she admits painful episodes and mistakes. She concludes that the moral of the story is that music, humor and honesty are enough for joy... That drugs, booze and smoking are just a dead end side track ... As Anne and Nancy Wilson also explain in THEIR rock autobio. But while CH paints the picture, she does not state definitively that they cause us to lie and pretend to each other and to ourselves... That youth and rock can be about expression and new perspectives WITHOUT the fake party atmosphere that substance abuse creates. I wish she could have pointed to some rockers that created art, had fun, but did NOT disintegrate due to abuse. Steve Miller is on that comes to mind (though I think he has been married three times, so I am not sure if there is a connection with abuse or not.) Also, I would have enjoyed more revelation about how she crafted her lyrics, which are quirky, personal, and NOT "poppy" ... "Kid" is a great example... Who is the "kid"? Herself? Anyway, I am a big fan, I learned a lot... Rock on, from the middle of the road!
I got restless waiting to get to The Pretenders. Most of this book is Chrissie's story before The Pretenders, and then when we finally get to The Pretenders they only get a couple of chapters and the story ends with the deaths of Pete and Jimmy. There was no mention of everything that followed, which I was really interested in. Also, Rosanna Arquette has a really squeaky, grating voice and she reads this book as if she's reading a children's book in front of a class of 10 year olds. She overacts throughout her entire performance. Why didn't Chrissie read it herself? I had just finished Pete Townshend's and Patti Smith's autobiographies which were both beautifully written, so maybe I'm a little spoiled, but this could have been a lot better.
I love Chrissie Hynde, The Pretenders and anything from that era, especially UK punk, the kind described in this book. Reckless gives us some insight into a time that changed music forever and how icons like Chrissie, John Lydon, Lemmy, and Iggy Pop started out and made it happen. What a time it must have been!
I am amazed how brave she was to go after her dream, despite it seeming impossible at times. I could really relate to her relationship with her parents and her need to escape from her life in Ohio.
I believe that Rosanna Arquette may be a close friend to Chrissie Hynde and a good actress, which would make one think that she could really deliver. However,I did not especially care for her reading of this book. In my opinion, the audio sounded heavily edited in the beginning and Ms. Arquette stumbles over words throughout the reading which is distracting.
Do not expect a tell-all book of her whole career...this is truly her story of getting into music and told in a way that she wants to tell it. Sometimes vague on the details of exactly what happened, she is telling you as much as she feels is needed to get the story told and this should give the reader/listener even more insight into who she really is as a person/musician. She proves that she is and has been, all about the music.
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