I just finished reading the new memoir from Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. In the spaces between all the recklessness and drug-induced tragedy, the book reveals her love of rock music and great guitar playing. She credits the original Pretenders guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott with bringing her songs to life with melody, and ends the book with one of the saddest lines that I've ever read (about her memory of him, after his passing.)
Chrissie doesn't see herself as a virtuoso guitarist, and she spent a lot of time in the early punk scene, hanging out in London with members of The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, and Motorhead (more of a heavy metal band, but certainly with some punk attitude.) But in the end, she always affirms that musicians need to be able to play. I like this quote from the book (talking about "hot-shot" type guitar players.)
"They aren't paying attention to ordinary stuff... politics, religion, or society... they don't bother with opinions as those things don't concern them. Playing guitar concerns them. Life begins and ends with the guitar. That's the kind of guy you want in your band."
I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt for not "paying attention to the ordinary stuff." But my reasons are the same. Playing guitar concerns me! And if Chrissie ever calls, I already know "Talk of the Town."
Original Content: Life Begins and Ends With the Guitar