Chrissie Hynde has plenty of time on her hands due to the coronavirus pandemic, but she won’t be using it to write a second book.
“I even started to write Reckless part two last year, but abandoned it as I thought about it for five minutes and concluded, ‘Really – who gives a shit?'” she wrote on her Facebook page. Hynde’s first memoir, Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, came out in 2015 and chronicled her journey from her childhood roots in Akron, Ohio, to the buzzing ’70s punk scene of London. These days, with touring off the table, Hynde spends more time interacting with her fans on social media.
“It made me go a bit nostalgic – something I don’t usually feature,” she wrote in a post. “In fact, I avoid nostalgia, especially as the last 50 years have now been plundered ad nauseam in documentaries and memoirs, as if there isn’t enough current ’news’ to command the imagination.”
Instead, Hynde turned her attention to another project: Last summer, inspired by Bob Dylan’s latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, she and Pretenders guitarist James Walbourne recorded an eight-part series of Dylan covers.
“It brought back my whole childhood and my past,” she said to Rolling Stone, speaking about Dylan’s “Murder Most Foul.” “I remembered exactly where I was sitting in the sixth grade at my desk when the news [of JFK’s assassination] came over the Tannoy [PA] system. Then I was thinking about Bob and how significant he’s been throughout my lifetime — and everyone’s lives. I’ve gone to see shows of his, and there are grown men, older than me, standing up, like, in tears just because he’s there.”
According to Hynde, the songs from her cover series, which include renditions of tracks like “Love Minus Zero” and “Tomorrow Is a Long Time,” will soon be released in album format under the title Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan.
“We’re running through the songs on acoustics in case we get a chance to perform them in a small club somewhere,” Hynde wrote in another Facebook post. “Great songs – obviously. And it’s making us think maybe we’ll stick to very small acoustic sets for a while. After all, it all comes down to the songs, and stripping it back to basics is proving to be very satisfying. … If we can make it work, James and I might pull up in your town, jump off the train and play in the smallest venue you got and then be on our way.”
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