Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde no leftist troll, still cutting edge

Actually, not a troll of any kind.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Wikipedia, Gage Skidmore

If you’re an early Generation Xer or late Boomer, take your pick, and came of age in the late 1970s you know who Chrissie Hynde is.

For those sadly ignorant of her majesty, Hynde was the gorgeous lead singer of the new wave band The Pretenders. Her sultry voice and guitar talent were an epiphany for a generation just getting over disco and Barry Manilow. Hynde’s rendition of “Brass in Pocket” was enough to give a teenage boy impure thoughts.

I saw the band at Miami’s Gusman Center in 1979, my high school senior year. They were exceptionally good, as most pop culture had been since the previous summer of 1978. That’s when the music scene changed from disco to new wave and “Animal House” replaced “Woodstock” as a clarion call to young America. The zeitgeist was a rejection of 60s surrender and filthy hippie sanctimonious pieties and a precursor to the American, aggressive, and confident Reagan 80s.

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In other words, “I Don’t Like Mondays” is more than a slightly different song from “My Green Tambourine.”

So imagine my joy when I read in the news, via a tweet from Hynde herself to the president, that not only is she the poster girl for hot guitar chicks but is a sensible non-loony when it comes to politics.

I’m not saying she’s a conservative. But her music and her image had never been hard left wing. Perhaps a curled lip at any politics or politicians, but no Bolshie.

The question at hand was Rush Limbaugh’s announcement of his illness and the president awarding the talented talk show host and conservative leader the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As you can guess and probably heard, many pop culture types denounced the award and even mocked Limbaugh over his illness.

Not Hynde.

Those who listen to Rush know she always permitted him to open up his show with her “My City Was Gone,” but, referencing her Marine and Guadalcanal vet dad, she said, “The other day when you gave that award to Rush Limbaugh, my father would have been so delighted. He loved listening to Rush, which is why I allowed my song, ‘My City Was Gone’, to be used on his radio show. My father and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye. We argued a lot. But isn’t that the American way? The right to disagree without having your head chopped off?”

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How’s that for one of the last of the honest sensible liberals? And as that’s a very minority attitude in pop culture, she still is on the edge.

Still the coolest chick in rock and roll.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence; he served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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