The Pretenders Rock Hall Induction 2005

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Chrissie Hynde (in an undated photo from the artist's Facebook page)

Chrissie Hynde (from the artist’s Facebook page)

Chrissie Hynde was an American from Akron, Ohio who was living in London in the 1970s. By day, she had a job at the British weekly music paper, New Musical Express. By night, she was performing with a variety of rock bands.

In 1978, at 26 years-old, Hynde met the individuals who would become the Pretenders: drummer Martin Chambers, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon.

Their 1980 self-titled debut featuring their cover of The Kinks’ “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Mystery Achievement” and the hit, “Brass in Pocket,” was a smash, entering the British album charts at #1 and reaching the U.S. top ten.

Related: The Pretenders are on our list of songs that defined new wave

It wasn’t obvious, though, that this English-American band would become a classic rock force. But 35 years later, the Pretenders were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005, by Neil Young, who generously referred to them as a “great influence” on him.

Said Young, in his remarks at New York’s Waldorf Astoria: “I’m very honored to talk a little bit about the Pretenders, who had a great influence on myself and my band, Crazy Horse. When we couldn’t figure out what to do we used to put on those records and listen to them. This is one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands that ever lived. They went through all of the heartache that rock ‘n’ roll is built on.  They lost two members and they never gave up.  They kept going. Chrissie is a rock ‘n’ roll woman; she’s got it in her heart. She’s gonna be rockin’ ’til she drops. I love her.”

And here are the Pretenders at their induction ceremony, performing “Message of Love” from their 1981 follow-up album. Our Classic Video…

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