Friday, April 10, 2015

Chrissie Hynde Was The First Rock Star I Ever Met

I had been doing college radio at Southeastern Massachusetts University's WUSM for almost one year when I met my first genuine rock star. Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. The band played in our campus gymnasium on November 3, 1981. All of the members did radio spots for our station. We were playing the hell out of their records. MTV had launched only three months earlier and were already playing the band’s videos. I was just in awe of meeting and having the chance to speak with them and then watch them perform. Chrissie Hynde showing me for the first time that a woman could rock just as hard as a man.
Before the show, I was walking down the hallway toward the band's dressing room. I had
volunteered to work security and was accepted immediately because of my status working at the radio station. Some of the people running the show hooked me up. They told the band the school radio station wanted to interview them and such.
When I got to the dressing room, James Honeyman Scott was standing in the doorway. I couldn't believe it. There he was in the flesh. Before I could even make a fool of myself by nearly groveling at his feet, he blurted out, "Doesn't he look like that bloke from football."
Apparently I resembled a popular soccer player in the UK. Next thing, Chrissie Hynde comes over and takes a look at me. They all had a laugh and then I explained that I was from the radio station. They were very kind and talked with me for a bit. Chrissie was so appreciative of college radio, acknowledging that the band would not be where they were at that time without us.
I think I even got them to agree to do some radio station IDs. "Hi, this is Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders, and you are listening to ninety-one point one F-M, W-U-S-M." We did that with almost every musician and band we met, and then DJs at the station would play it whenever playing one of the band's songs.
It was a magical evening. The first rock stara I'd ever met. What an induction into an amazing industry. Check out the video below for one of my favorite Pretenders song, Talk of the Town.

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