Say It's Your Birthday: Former Pretenders' Bassist Pete Farndon

Today was the birthday of Pretender's bassist Pete Farndon, born on

this date in 1952. The Pretenders, fronted by singer/songwriter

Chrissie Hynde, released their 1980 self-titled debut at the height of

the punk/New Wave movement. Hynde's tough take on rock and roll and

permutations of love, coupled with the band's inspired musical

aggression allowed the band to stand head and shoulders above the glut

of alienated, neurotic posturing. The Pretender's mix of tough punk

attitude with an edgy power pop influenced sound was unique. They won

over critics and fans alike. After their sophomore effort,

Pretenders II the band's guitarist, James Honeyman Scott died

as a result of a drug overdose, as did Farndon, who had been

previously fired for incompatibility. Reeling from the loses, the

Pretenders released the fine Learning To Crawl, which possessed

a less aggressive, more melodic sound. Over the course of their

career, the band have softened their sound, but Hynde's honest and

often awkward search for personal growth has provided many provocative

songs. It's also the birthday of Rocky Burnette, Dale Krantz (.38

Special/Rossington Collins Band), Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick), and Reg

Presley (Troggs).