In 1979, I became a fan of Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders when I first heard their delightful debut single. Their cover of a lesser-known 1964 Kinks album cut “Stop Your Sobbing” was a pure pop gem produced by Nick Lowe.
Back in those days, I would buy songs like this on British import singles (for $3.00) before they came out here in the States. I got most of mine at Bleecker Bob’s in Greenwich Village. Going to Bob’s was a weekly ritual despite the abuse you would sometimes get for either asking questions or not buying anything. That was the price you had to pay for Bob getting things before anyone else.
I left the New York area for Texas in early 1980 and missed seeing The Pretenders first US tour. However, in late 1981, I headed to a small theater in Austin to see them touring in support of Pretenders II. The original band was a great one that brilliantly blended Hynde’s pop sensibility with the harder edge of James Honeyman-Scott’s guitar and Pete Farndon’s bass. Sadly, in less than two years, both of these young musicians would meet drug-related deaths.
On personal note, this night was memorable in that I went with one of my fellow accounting co-workers. Although his musical tastes were a bit edgier than The Pretenders, he seemed to enjoy himself. He did look to have an unsatisfied urge for things to get a little rowdier. His name was Gibson (“Gibby”) Haynes, and he would later go on to form the famous punk band, the Butthole Surfers.
Speaking of Gibby, here’s a phone message that my secretary took from him letting me know about one of his early shows. The venue name is misspelled and was San Antonio’s Bonham Exchange.