Saturday, June 12, 2010
Birthday wishes would go out today to Pete Farndon - bass player and founding member of The Pretenders - if only he'd survived that ole devil called the rock and roll lifestyle, that is. Instead of a 57th birthday, though, he gets a brief mention on an obscure blog in the boondocks of the Internet. Oh joy...
Few bands have survived the number of lineup changes The Pretenders have over the years, mainly because despite her refusal to perform as Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders that is essentially what the band should be called; I highly doubt the band could survive the loss of her the way it did poor old Pete Farndon. His departure was doubly painful; not only was he fired by his fellow band mates (in June 1982) he'd once been Hynde's lover as well.
His dismissal came just two days after his 30th birthday; just two days later his fellow founding Pretender James Honeyman-Scott died of a heart attack caused by cocaine use. Farndon himself died in April 1983 - in the midst of forming a new band with Topper Headon, formerly of The Clash - having made an indelible mark on the world of rock thanks to songs like this one.
Brass in Pocket, the band's third single, was released in November 1979 and appears on the band's 1980 debut album Pretenders. The video, interestingly enough, was the seventh ever video shown on MTV following that channel's August 1981 launch; I've always liked its wistful whimsy, and I'm a sucker for a story video every time.
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