2018 Arroyo Seco Weekend - Saturday


Jun 23, 2018 – All Day

1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109 Map

  • hurray for the riff raff
  • Pharaoh Sanders
  • Kamasi Washington
  • The Milk Carton Kids
  • Margo Price
  • North Mississippi Allstars
  • Neil Young
  • The Specials
  • Seu Jorge
  • Dwight Twilley
  • Typhoon
  • Gomez
  • Jack White
  • Belle and Sebastian
  • Pretenders
  • Shakey Graves

More Info

Margo Price: Country artist Margo Price has been a mainstay in the East Nashville music scene since the early 2000s. She played in a political band with her future husband, Jeremy Ivey, called Secret Handshake before her and the guitarist started the band Buffalo Clover. After gaining a following, she started the "supergroup" Margo and the Pricetags, which at one time featured Sturgill Simpson and Kenny Vaughan.

Price's debut studio album, Midwest Farmer's Daughter, was released in 2016 and received acclaim from Rolling Stone, PopMatters, AllMusic, and numerous other music critics. While Price has a substantial following in the US, she has experienced overwhelming success in the UK Country scene. The artist's sophomore album, All American Made, debuted at #89 on the Billboard 200 and was dedicated to the late Tom Petty.

North Mississippi Allstars: The North Mississippi Allstars were founded in 1996; a product of a very special time for modern Mississippi country blues. RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Otha Turner and their musical families were at their peak touring the world, making classic records, and doing the all-night boogie at Jr’s Juke Joint and Otha’s BBQ Goat picnics -- the music and the culture rich as the black Mississippi dirt.

We used to drive down wide-eyed and open-eared to watch and listen to these giants among men, the kings of the hills playing their music with their people for their people. The musical traditions passing from generation to generation. Down at Otha’s we used to boogie in the dirt, dust, and gravel. Old ladies teachin’ the young girls how to shake ’em on down. The sweaty walls of Jr’s Juke Joint used to vibrate and amplify the all night long moonshine madness. The corn liquor inspired a very unique psychedelic trance blues. The multi-generational musical families gave the old-field hollers a very aggressive, loud edge, modern, electric, country blues. Young, outsider musicians couldn’t just hang out and hide in the corner, you had to play. It felt like it was an insult not to. The elder’s requesting you to play their own songs. You had to come on with the come on.

For us, the experience goes back another generation. In the middle 60s, at the Memphis Country Blues Festivals, Mudboy and the Neutrons, our father Jim Dickinson, Lee Baker, Sid Selvidge and Jimmy Crosthwait experienced the cultural collision of wise blues men and crazy white kids with Furry Lewis, Bukka White, Sleepy John Estes and Hill Country master Mississippi Fred McDowell. This is the World Boogie.

Neil Young: He is a rock legend, a folk hero, and one of the most important singer-songwriters of his generation, or any generation for that matter. Neil Young keeps on "rockin' in a free world," and has been for the better part of five decades with no signs of slowing down. A Neil Young concert schedule has been announced with the rock icon scheduled to perform at nearly twenty five dates throughout the United States this spring 2011.

After forming Buffalo Springfield in 1966, Young and his bandmates hit the big time with their single, "For What Its Worth," in 1967. The band never recreated the commercial success of its only top ten single and quickly disbanded after the release of their second album. The versatile Young, was quick to regroup and in 1968 he inked a solo deal and collaborated with Crazy Horse on a couple of albums before joining the rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, & Nash as the fourth member. However, it was the classic 1972 album, Harvest, and its hit "Heart of Gold," that really catapulted Young to superstardom. The album remains his most critically and commercially successful solo album to date, having been certified platinum four times by the RIAA. Neil Young tour dates have continued to rally his fans throughout the decades. His honest and activist lyrics speak to people worldwide, and with hits like "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World," Young became a voice for the disenfranchised, a generation of activists who tired of the status quo.

Neil Young continued to record solo albums throughout the seventies and eighties, and reached multi-platinum success with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on several albums. Young managed to remain relevant in the age of MTV and grunge music when he released the unofficial sequel to his best selling album, Harvest Moon. Young continued to tour and make music throughout the nineties and is still around today. He accepted his first ever Grammy Award in 2011 for his boxed collection album of hits.

Now the politically outspoken rock rebel is coming to your local venue. Neil Young tour dates have been scheduled throughout North America this spring and summer 2011, and tickets are currently on sale. Don't miss out on the chance to catch this rock icon sing his folk-rock classics in your area. Use Eventful as your source for all the latest Neil Young tour dates and concert schedule updates.

Seu Jorge: His fans consider him a renewer of Brazilian samba-style pop. He credits his influences as the samba school Estação Primeira de Mangueira, composers Nelson Cavaquinho and Zeca Pagodinho, along with footballer Romário and American soul singer Stevie Wonder.

As a singer, Seu Jorge ("Mr. George") was part of the band Farofa Carioca, composing most of the songs of their debut album Moro no Brasil - 1998 and has released two albums. In 2001 he released Samba Esporte Fino, a pop album influenced by the likes of Jorge Ben Jor, Gilberto Gil, and Milton Nascimento. It was released outside Brazil under the name Carolina in 2003. His second album, the critically acclaimed Cru ("Raw"), was released in 2005.

Seu Jorge has gained exposure through his work as an actor and soundtrack composer. He appeared in the critically acclaimed film City of God as Mané Galinha, and then played Pelé Dos Santos in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, for which he provided much of the soundtrack in the form of Portuguese language cover versions of David Bowie classics.

In June 2006, he performed at Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee and at the Festival Sudoeste TMN in Portugal. He has also performed at the 2006 Bluesfest in Ottawa.

Gomez: For How We Operate, their fifth studio album, Gomez didn't set out to reinvent the wheel. Oh no. The British quintet just wanted to change the blueprint for a different sort of rounded object: Their own records.

"As a creative partnership, and as friends, we had to regroup and make a career-defining record," says Tom Gray (vocals, guitar, keyboards). Longtime cohort Ben Ottewell (vocals, guitar) concurs. "The last album" -- the 2004 studio set Split the Difference -- "was pretty rocking, and reflected the live show a lot. With this one, we wanted to focus on songs, melodies and words, rather than volume."

Gomez -- which also features Ian Ball (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Paul Blackburn (bass, guitar), and Olly Peacock (drums) -- have been playing together for a decade now; they celebrate the tenth anniversary of their first gig in October, 2006. But their friendships date back even further; Ian and Olly have been friends since they were still in short pants, while the rest of the lads rallied around as the duo progressed through academia. Drawing on their disparate tastes, which ranged from Nirvana to Woody Guthrie, Motown singles to barbershop quartets, they honed a one-of-a-kind sound that incorporated all their influences around their shared point of reference: A deep, abiding love for creative music of all stripes.

After releasing their debut single, "78 Stone Wobble" in spring of 1998, Gomez soon attracted international attention when they won the Mercury Music Prize for their debut full-length, Bring It On, which SPIN anointed "a damn beautiful album." It was followed by Liquid Skin (1999), the rarities-and-B-sides compilation Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline (2000), and In Our Gun (2002).

2004 brought album number five, Split The Difference, hailed by the BBC as "one of the finest releases of the year." But soon after, Gomez split -- literally -- from their longtime label, Virgin, who dropped them. In 2005 Gomez inked a new deal with Dave Matthews' ATO Records, who issued the band's first live album, Out West. The label switch has proven fortuitous for the band, says Gray. "It's been a breath of fresh air, after the deeply ridiculous world of today's corporate record industry, where the tax year dictates creative output."

To help focus their energies on their first studio release for ATO, the band decided to try a wholly new tack, and enlist their first outside producer. When Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo Fighters) was named as a candidate, Gray leapt at the suggestion. "I've been a crazy, huge Pixies fan my entire life, since I was thirteen," he gushes. Others required more convincing. "Back when Tom was listening to the Pixies, I was heavy into Slayer," confesses Ball. Fortunately, they soon found a common point of interest: A shared passion for Liverpool's Everton football club.

From their first meeting, Gray felt confident the band had made the right choice. "Gil could talk about all our records, and tell us exactly what he thought he would change about what we do. Which, essentially, was force us to actually think about what the songs would be before we went into the studio, and really concentrate on pre-production of all of the songs."

"The principle was to keep the whole recoding very simple," says Ball of the parameters within which the twelve tracks on How We Operate were written, rehearsed, and laid down. If everyone didn't agree on a potential song, it was promptly withdrawn from consideration. "Time and money were limited, which was good, because in the past we have occasionally tended to, shall we say, go to town."

"On our old records, certain elements were carefully thought out, but a lot of things were simply done in the spur of the moment," explains Ottewell. "On this one, we didn't lose that spontaneity, but we thought things through a bit more. Ever since our second record" -- 1999's Liquid Skin -- "we've been involved in a long process of trying to tease out the best bits of what we do, and not clutter things up. Gil helped show us the way."

"The main thing with this record was to get everybody together in one room, work on all the songs together, and make sure that it was a really unified vision," Gray confirms.

At the same time, Norton recognized that he was overseeing a band that had grown up together, and features multiple songwriters. Consequently, integrating the best of everyone was also essential. "Everyone had to be represented on this record," concurs Gray. "We needed to get the balance right again. Gil isn't at all conservative. He just loves a good song, done well, and he doesn't think that adding too much coloration actually helps bring a song to life."

But while Norton helped the band select and put finishing touches on songs long before entering London's fabled RAK Studios to cut the album, he was hardly dictatorial. "At first, it was odd, dealing with somebody who was making suggestions, but not coming up with answers," admits Ball, who half-imagined some multiple-Grammy winning hot shot who would explicitly tell the band how to re-write a chorus if he didn't like it.

That wasn't Norton's modus operandi at all. "Gil would say, 'This song needs something...' and that would be it," Ball continues. Um, okay... something. Trying to figure out the best shape to plug each hole inspired new solutions, and renewed excitement for old skills. "I thought, 'I can't just sit down at the piano or a guitar, and go, Okay, now I need to figure out how to complete this song." But necessity proved otherwise. "I learned how to sit down and figure the missing bits out."

But what of the results of this new approach? Judge for yourself. On the opening "Notice," brushed snares and an elastic bass line gently anchor a swelling melody; moments of silence punctuate the building momentum, and vibrant vocal harmonies blossom as the song unfolds. With its sing-along chorus and discrete hints of Appalachia, the jaunty "See The World" ("a distant cousin of 'Ooh-La-La' by the Faces," admits Gray, its author) is a buoyant ditty in search of a sunny day and a vintage convertible, a welcome affirmation that the words "pop" and "integrity" are not mutually exclusive.

Keep listening. Scrutinize the spacey, almost psychedelic title track closely, and the advantages of the band's judicious new approach to arrangements are evident. "Girlshapedlovedrug" is a beguiling portrait of "a wicked girl... the worst in the world..." who still proves irresistible to the narrator, while elsewhere, the bluesy "Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol" and the twilight reverie of "Charley Patton Songs" find Gomez in a more reflective mood.

"There's always been a certain ragged glory to Gomez, " concludes Gray. And How We Operate retains and revitalizes that glory -- and presents it in a more immediately gripping form. "This is certainly the most cohesive record we've made," observes Ball. "And yet it remains stylistically genre-less." Which is to say, it's still brilliantly, unabashedly... Gomez.

Jack White: An American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist and occasional actor. He was best known as the guitarist, pianist and lead vocalist of The White Stripes until they split in February 2011, as well as a member of The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.

He is ranked #70 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". White's popular and critical success with The White Stripes enabled him to collaborate as a solo artist with other renowned musicians, such as Beck, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan, Electric Six, Insane Clown Posse, and Loretta Lynn, whose 2004 album Van Lear Rose he produced and performed on. In 2006, White became a founding member of the rock band The Raconteurs. In 2009, he became a founding member and drummer of his third commercially successful group, The Dead Weather. He was awarded the title of "Nashville Music City Ambassador" by the Nashville mayor Karl Dean in 2011. White is set to release his debut solo album Blunderbuss on April 24, 2012.

White formed The White Stripes in 1997, along with Meg White, The band began its career as part of the Michigan garage rock underground music scene, playing with local bands such as Bantam Rooster, The Dirtbombs, The Paybacks, Rocket 455, and The Henchmen, among others. In 1998, The White Stripes were signed to Italy Records, a small and independent Detroit-based garage punk label, by Dave Buick. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1999, and a year later the album was followed up by the cult classic De Stijl. The album eventually peaked at #38 in Billboard Magazine's Independent Albums when the band had established their popularity. While performing and in music videos, Jack and Meg are very recognisable visually, as they dress only in red, white, and black.

In 2001 the band released White Blood Cells. The album's stripped-down garage rock sound drew critical acclaim in the UK and soon afterward in the US, making The White Stripes one of the more acclaimed bands of 2002. The album was followed up in 2003 by the commercially and critically successful Elephant. Allmusic wrote that the album "sounds even more pissed-off, paranoid and stunning than its predecessor ... darker and more difficult than White Blood Cells. " The album's first single,"Seven Nation Army," was the band's most successful.

The band's fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan, was recorded in White's own home and marked a change in the band's musical direction, with piano-driven melodies and experimentation with marimba and a more rhythm-based guitar playing by White. The band's sixth album Icky Thump, released in 2007, entered the UK Albums Chart at number one and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. The album's sound also included more punk, garage and blues influences than its predecessor. In late 2007, the band announced the cancellation of 18 tour dates due to Meg White's acute anxiety problems.

White had revealed plans to release a seventh, as of yet untitled album in the summer of 2009. However, this has yet to happen. The band also made their first live appearance since Meg's anxiety problems in September 2007 on the final episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien on February 20, 2009.

A documentary, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights, about the band's 2007 tour, in which they played a gig in every Canadian province and territory, appeared in the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

In July 2007, The White Stripes made history by playing the shortest concert ever only playing one note, in St John's, Newfoundland. They played a full show later that night at the Mile One Centre in downtown St. John's.

On February 2, 2011, it was reported on the main page of that the duo has decided to part ways. White stated that it was not due to health issues or artistic differences but there were a "myriad of reasons."

White formed The Raconteurs in 2005 along with Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler. The origin of the band was the song 'Steady, As She Goes' which White wrote along with Benson. This inspired them to create a full band with the addition of Lawrence and Keeler. The band came together in Detroit during 2005 and, for the remainder of the year, recorded when time allowed. The band's debut album Broken Boy Soldiers was recorded at Benson's home in Detroit. The band set out on tour to support the album, including eight dates as the opening act for Bob Dylan. The group's second album, Consolers of the Lonely, and its first single, "Salute Your Solution", simultaneously in 2008. The album received a Grammy nomination.

In early 2009, Jack White formed a new group called The Dead Weather with The Kills frontwoman Alison Mosshart. White takes drum and vocal duties, while The Raconteurs bassist Jack Lawrence and Queens of the Stone Age keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita round the four piece out.

The group debuted a handful of new tracks on March 11, 2009 in Nashville from their debut album Horehound, which came out July 13, 2009 in Europe and July 14, 2009 in North America, on White's Third Man Records label.

On October 16, 2009, Mosshart confirmed that the second album was "halfway done." The first single "Die By The Drop" was released on March 30, 2010. The new album, Sea of Cowards was released on May 7 in Ireland, then on May 11, 2010, in the U.S. and May 10 in the United Kingdom, and again, on White's Third Man Records.

It was rumored that in 2003 White collaborated on Electric Six's song "Danger! High Voltage." Both he and the Electric Six denied this, and the vocal work was credited officially to John S O'Leary. However, a recent radio interview with Tim Shaw on Kerrang! 105.2 in the UK had Electric Six lead singer Dick Valentine talking openly about White singing on this song as well as speculating on the amount of money he was paid ($60,000). Also, a Q magazine article stated that Jack White did in fact work with Electric Six on the song "Gay Bar."

In 2008, White collaborated with Alicia Keys on the song "Another Way to Die," the theme song for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

He performed five songs for the Cold Mountain soundtrack; "Sittin' On Top Of The World," "Wayfaring Stranger," "Never Far Away," "Christmas Time Soon Will Be Over" and "Great High Mountain."

In 2009, Jack White was featured in It Might Get Loud, a film in which he, Jimmy Page, and The Edge come together to discuss the electric guitar and each artist's different playing methods. White's first solo single, "Fly Farm Blues," was written and recorded in 10 minutes during the filming of the movie, in August 2009. The single went on sale as a 7-inch vinyl record from Third Man Records and as a digital single available through iTunes on August 11.

In November 2010, producer Danger Mouse announced that White has been recruited for his collaboration with Daniele Luppi entitled Rome along with Norah Jones. White provided vocals to three songs on the album: "The Rose with the Broken Neck," "Two Against One" and "The World."

The song "You Know That I Know," finished and performed by White, was featured on "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams," released on October 4th 2011.

On January 30, 2012 White released the single "Love Interruption". This is the first single from his first solo album, Blunderbuss, that is to be released on April 24, 2012. On March 3, 2012, he appeared on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest, with Lindsay Lohan hosting.

He'll be playing selected dates in the summer, with festivals such as Radio 1's Hackney Weekend, Sasquatch! Music Festival, Fuji Rock Festival in Japan and one of the biggest festivals in the world, Rock Werchter in Belgium.

Belle and Sebastian: Belle and Sebastian are an indie pop band formed in Glasgow, Scotland in January 1996. Belle & Sebastian are often compared to influential indie bands such as The Smiths, as well as classic rock acts such as Love, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. The name Belle & Sebastian is inspired by Belle et Sébastien, a children's book by French writer Cécile Aubry. Lauded by critics, Belle & Sebastian's "wistful pop" has nevertheless enjoyed only limited commercial success. (from Wikipedia)

After releasing a number of albums and EPs on Jeepster Records, they are now signed to Rough Trade Records in the United Kingdom and Matador Records in the United States.

Belle & Sebastian were formed in Glasgow in 1996 by Stuart Murdoch and Stuart David.[6]Together they recorded some demos with Stow College music professor Pilar Duplack, which were picked up by the college's Music Business course that produces and releases one single each year on the college's label, Electric Honey. As the band had a number of songs already and the label were extremely impressed with the demos, Belle & Sebastian were allowed to record a full-length album, which was named Tigermilk. Murdoch once described the band as a "product of botched capitalism".[6]

Tigermilk was recorded in three days and originally only one thousand copies were pressed on vinyl.[7] These original copies now sell for up to £400.[3][12][13] The warm reception the album received inspired Murdoch and David to turn the band into a full-time project, recruiting Stevie Jackson (guitar and vocals), Isobel Campbell (cello/vocals), Chris Geddes (keys) and Richard Colburn (drums) to fill out the group.

After the success of the debut album, Belle & Sebastian were signed to Jeepster Records in August 1996 and If You're Feeling Sinister, their second album, was released on 18 November.[13] The album was named by Spin as one of the 100 greatest albums between 1985 and 2005,[14] and is widely considered the band's masterpiece.[15] Just before the recording of Sinister, Sarah Martin (violin/vocals) joined the band. Following this a series of EPs were released in 1997.[16] The first of these was Dog on Wheels, which contained four demo tracks recorded before the real formation of the band. In fact, the only long-term band members to play on the songs were Murdoch, David, and Mick Cooke, who played trumpet on the EP but would not officially join the band until a few years later. It charted at #59 in the UK singles chart.[13]

The Lazy Line Painter Jane EP followed in July. The track was recorded in the church where Murdoch lived[17] and features vocals from Monica Queen. The EP narrowly missed out of the UK top 40, peaking at #41.[13] The last of the 1997 EPs was October's 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds of Light. The EP was made Single of the Week in both the NME and Melody Maker and reached #32 in the charts, thus becoming the band's first top 40 single.[

The band left Jeepster in 2002, signing a four album deal with Rough Trade Records.[32] Their first album for Rough Trade, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, was released in 2003, and was produced by Trevor Horn.[33] The album showed a markedly more 'produced' sound compared to their first four LPs,[34] as the band was making a concerted effort to produce more "radio-friendly" music.[33] In spite of this, the album was warmly received, and is credited with returning the band's "indie cred".[7] The album also marked the return of Murdoch as the group's primary songwriter following the poorly-received Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant and Storytelling, both of which were more collaborative than the band's early work.[35] A documentary DVD, Fans Only, was released by Jeepster in October 2003, featuring promotional videos, live clips and unreleased footage.[15] A single from the album, "Step into My Office, Baby" followed in November 2003 — it would be their first single taken from an album.[32] Stevie Jackson

The Thin Lizzy-inspired "I'm a Cuckoo" was the second single from the album.[34][36] It achieved their highest chart position yet, reaching #14 in the UK.[31] The Books EP followed, a double A-side single lead by "Wrapped Up in Books" from Dear Catastrophe Waitress and the new Your Cover's Blown. This EP became the band's third top 20 UK release and the band went on to be nominated for both the Mercury Music Prize and an Ivor Novello Award. In January 2005, B&S was voted Scotland's greatest band in a poll by The List, beating Simple Minds, Idlewild, Travis, Franz Ferdinand, and The Proclaimers, among others.[2]

In April 2005, members of the band visited Israel and the Palestinian territories with the UK charity War on Want;[37] the group subsequently recorded a song inspired by the trip titled "The Eighth Station of the Cross Kebab House", which would later be released as a B-side on 2006's "Funny Little Frog" single. Push Barman to Open Old Wounds, a compilation of the Jeepster singles and EPs, was released in May 2005 while the band were recording their seventh album in California. The result of the sessions was The Life Pursuit, produced by Tony Hoffer.[38][37] The album, originally intended to be a double album,[39] became their band's highest charting release to date upon its release in February 2006, peaking at #8 in the UK and #65 on the US Billboard 200.[40][41] "Funny Little Frog", which preceded it, also proved to be their highest charting single, debuting at #13.

On 6 July 2006, the band played a historic show with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.[42] The opening act at the 18,000 seat sell-out concert was The Shins.[43] The members of the band see this as a landmark event, with Stevie Jackson saying, "This is the biggest thrill of my entire life".[44] In October 2006, members of the band helped put together a CD collection of new songs for children titled Colours Are Brighter, with the involvement of major bands such as Franz Ferdinand and The Flaming Lips.[45]

On 18 November 2008 the band released The BBC Sessions, which features songs from the period of 1996-2001 (including the last recordings featuring Isobel Campbell before she left the band), along with a second disc featuring a recording of a live performance from Christmas 2001.[46]

The next album including new material from the band will be God Help the Girl, the soundtrack for a film of the same name (which was written by Murdoch). The soundtrack will differ from that of Storytelling in that it will include other artists in addition to Belle & Sebastian.[47] The single "Come Monday Night" featuring Catherine Ireton on lead vocals was released on May 11, 2009.

(From Wikipedia)

Pretenders: The Pretenders are a British rock band. The original band consisted of group founder and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), James Honeyman-Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Pete Farndon (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Martin Chambers (drums, backing vocals, percussion). The band was fractured by drug-related deaths and numerous subsequent personnel changes have taken place over the years, with Hynde as the sole continual member.

Hynde, originally from Akron, Ohio, attended the Kent State University at the time of the Kent State shootings in 1970. Hynde moved to London in 1973 and from there began writing for the weekly music paper, New Musical Express. After several years of false starts, including the bands Masters of the Backside and The Moors Murderers, she moved definitively from writing to performing.

The Pretenders formed during the tail end of the original British punk movement, in 1978. Hynde's eventual band comprised a set of acquaintances from Hereford, near the Welsh border — young players with a pop aesthetic who had missed out on the punk explosion of 1976, but were eager to catch up.

Farndon (who was romantically linked with Hynde) was the first to join Hynde's band, following a medium-noteworthy run with the Bushwackers, an Australian folk-rock ensemble. Farndon then recruited guitarist Honeyman-Scott, at the time working in the guitar room at Buzz Music in Hereford. However, the Pretenders had no official drummer even as late as the recording session for their first single ("Stop Your Sobbing"), which featured drumming by session player Gerry Mackleduff. Finally, Honeyman-Scott recruited Chambers, who was at the time working as a driving instructor only a few blocks from where Hynde was living.

Following their 1978 signing to Real Records on the basis of a demo of the song "The Phone Call", the band quickly rose to critical attention with the January 1979 single, "Stop Your Sobbing", written in 1964 by Ray Davies for The Kinks and produced by Nick Lowe. It was followed in quick succession that year by the popular singles "Kid" in June and "Brass in Pocket" in November, which cracked the American market for the band (reaching #14 on the Billboard Hot 100), and reached no.1 in the UK.

The debut album Pretenders was released in January 1980, and was a great success in both the United Kingdom and the United States, both critically and with chart-topping sales. (Pretenders was subsequently named one of the best albums of all time by VH1 (#52) and Rolling Stone (#155).) The band played the entire album at the noted Heatwave festival in August 1980 near Toronto.

That the Pretenders were led by a hard-rocking woman was no small factor in their early breakthrough. With her trademark dark bangs, dark eyeliner, and dark jeans, Hynde appealed to both genders. And due to, as the 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide would say, "her sheer authenticity as a three-dimensional woman whose sexuality is completely in sync with a superb rock sensibility," she was able to escape many of the clichéd roles of women in rock music.

Hynde's girl group-influenced vocals were also crucial to the band's success, although the early group was very much an ensemble, adept at playing interlocking musical parts, shifting mood and tempo on cue, and responding to subtle signals from one another. Their recordings were mostly performed live in the studio, with only lead guitar and vocal overdubs. Among the interesting features of the first two albums are casual shifts into odd time signatures, as in the alternating 7/8-4/4 time signature of "Tattooed Love Boys." Another major element of the band's early success was producer Chris Thomas (famed, with engineer Bill Price, for the sound achieved on the Sex Pistols' album, Never Mind the Bollocks). Fans familiar with the band's U.S. chart singles are often unaware of how loud and aggressive the early Pretenders could be, and how loose and experimental some of their early recordings were.

In March 1981 the EP Extended Play was released, a holding action containing the UK and U.S. hits "Message of Love" and "Talk of the Town" and a live version of "Precious," recorded in Central Park.

The second full-length album, Pretenders II, was released in August, 1981. Most critics at the time called it disappointing, although it is now generally considered a great album. Pretenders II is more spread-out than the debut, and included the Extended Play hit singles, the MTV video hit, "Day After Day," and popular album-radio tracks "The Adultress," "Birds of Paradise," and "The English Roses." According to Hynde from the Songwriters Circle, "Talk of the Town" is a song about a fan who just hung around during the sound checks and never said a word. Chrissie never initiated any conversation, but thought about him later in the tour.

At this early peak of the band's success and potential, Hynde kicked ex-lover Pete Farndon out of the group for ongoing drug problems. Two days later, 16 June 1982, Honeyman-Scott was dead of a cocaine overdose. While the band tried to regroup in the following year, Farndon overdosed on heroin and died on 14 April 1983. Honeyman-Scott is now regarded as an important rock guitarist, while Farndon is widely admired as a rock bassist.

Hynde subsequently decided to continue with the band. In July 1982, just weeks after Honeyman-Scott's death, a caretaker line-up of Hynde, Chambers, Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner and Big Country bassist Tony Butler, was assembled to record a comeback single, the death-haunted "Back on the Chain Gang." The song was released in October and marked a new level of musical sophistication for the band while becoming their biggest hit in the U.S., staying at #5 for three consecutive weeks. The single's flip-side, "My City Was Gone," in which Hynde expressed dismay at industrial pollution and rampant commercial development in her home state, was equally strong though; it's now well known as the theme music of The Rush Limbaugh Show.

Hynde then reformed The Pretenders, keeping Chambers and adding professional musicians Robbie McIntosh on guitar and Malcolm Foster on bass. The band's first album with this lineup, Learning to Crawl, was released to respectful critical acclaim in January 1984.

"Middle of the Road" was this lineup's first single, released in December, 1983 and made the US Top 20 and received constant MTV play. Recapturing some of the group's earlier hard-edged sound, the song dealt with, among other things, Hynde's new motherhood (Hynde had a daughter with Jim Kerr in January 1983), the pressures of stardom, and the indifference of wealthy nations to the plight of the world's poor. The flip-side, "2000 Miles", was a melancholy Christmas song that was especially popular in the UK. The rest of the album alternated between angry rockers ("Time the Avenger") and hopeful ballads ("Show Me" which hit the US Top 30) and included an effective cover of The Persuaders' "Thin Line Between Love and Hate", which featured Paul Carrack on guest keyboards. The subsequent tour (with an added keyboard player) successfully showcased a tight band centered around Martin Chambers's forceful drumming. The 1985 Live Aid charity concert was the last gig for this lineup.

Shortly after recording sessions for the next album began and one track had been completed, Hynde declared that Chambers was no longer playing well and dismissed him — allegedly by booking new recording time without telling Chambers about it. Foster was also let go, and after an appropriate interval, the newly-revised Pretenders lineup was officially announced as Hynde, McIntosh, bassist T.M. Stevens, and ex-Haircut 100 drummer Blair Cunningham. In reality, though, the Get Close album was largely the work of Hynde, McIntosh, and a bevy of session musicians.

Get Close was released in 1986; the disc included the Top 10 singles "Don't Get Me Wrong" (helped by a popular video homage to the television series The Avengers) and "Hymn to Her" (popularly interpreted as a hymn to the Goddess), a #8 hit in the UK.

Two new songs, "If There Was a Man" & "Where Has Everybody Gone?" were released on the soundtrack of the Bond film The Living Daylights, and were used instrumentally by John Barry in several scenes.

The lineup for the Get Close tour was then expanded to include former P-Funk and Talking Heads keyboardist Bernie Worrell, but this incarnation of the band went through many difficulties. Two players were fired, McIntosh eventually quit, and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr joined for a final brief period in 1987. By this time, it was evident that the Pretenders were a band in name only, the name merely serving as a vehicle for Chrissie Hynde.

The Pretenders joined with Emmylou Harris on Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, performing the song "She." A Greatest Hits compilation followed in 2000. In 2002 Loose Screw came out on Artemis Records to only modest commercial success. It was the first Pretenders record to be released by a company other than WEA. Rolling Stone noted its "refinement, stylish melodies and vocal fireworks," while Blender called it "slick, snarky pop with flashes of brilliance."

In March 2005, the Pretenders were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Only Hynde and Chambers attended the ceremony. In her acceptance speech, Hynde named and thanked all the replacement members of the group, then said:

"I know that the Pretenders have looked like a tribute band for the last 20 years. ... And we’re paying tribute to James Honeyman Scott and Pete Farndon, without whom we wouldn’t be here. And on the other hand, without us, they might have been here, but that’s the way it works in rock 'n' roll." [1]

After their Hall of Fame induction, The Pretenders continued touring as a four-piece unit (Hynde, Seymour, Hobson and Chambers). In 2005, bassist Hobson was replaced by Nick Wilkinson, marking the band's first line-up change in 13 years. Not long after, guitarist Seymour left and was replaced by James Walbourne. That same year, Rhino records released the four disc/ one DVD box set Pirate Radio 1979-2005 which spanned the group's entire career. Two-disc remastered versions of the first two albums also came out that year loaded with bonus tracks. In 2007, Rhino remastered both Learning To Crawl and Get Close once again with bonus tracks, but only as single discs. The current Pretenders lineup in 2008 now consists of Hynde, Chambers, Wilkinson and Walbourne.

The Pretenders' album Break up the Concrete was released through Shangri-La Music on 7 October 2008. It was the band's first Top 40 album in the U.S. in 22 years. It is described as having a rockabilly influence. Tracks include "Boots of Chinese Plastic", "Don't Cut Your Hair", "Love's a Mystery", "The Last Ride" and "Almost Perfect". [2] With Hynde is guitarist James Walbourne, pedal steel player Eric Heywood, bassist Nick Wilkinson and legendary drummer Jim Keltner (on the album only). Martin Chambers and Chrissie Hynde both explain the change as "being loyal to the music" and go on to say that Keltner and Chambers are good friends and have mutual respect. Chambers returned to the drums on tour with the band. Several one-off shows were performed in the closing months of 2008, including a couple of Christmas charity shows. The "Break Up The Concrete Tour" began in mid-January and covers most of the United States, with shows until the end of March. It then continues in Europe, with gigs in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Holland, France, Spain, Belgium, Scotland and England during the months of June and July, before returning for a new leg in Canada and the U.S. in August and September 2009.

(From Wikipedia)

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