London Girl: I had a great affection for the sound of the first Pretenders album. This was not a punk music but a hard rock with its head in the sixties. it was the arrangements, the push pull of guitar and bass over those floor toms that made me a fan. It wasn’t Chrissie Hynde. That came later when I saw The Pretenders at the Orange Pavilion in San Bernardino touring on the second album. I was standing back by the soundboard while BOW WOW WOW was playing and noticed James Honeyman Scott listening with a worried look. “Terrible sound in here,” I said. “I know,” he said. It makes me nervous.” And the sound was lousy for their set in this big airport hanger-like room, but Chrissie Hynde was not. She was not just an attitude and a jacket. She was not a comfortable performer but the doubt and sincerity mixed in the songs came out. She was real to me. Her songs transcended the arrangements or even some of the bravado lyrics. so i went home an wrote a song about her, not about the rock star but the young songwriter who had to go to London to find her voice and purpose. I like the sweetness in this version of London Girl from the Dedication album. i think it caught the wistfulness, and hope that most folks think is merely ambition. Chad Villareal played drums and Bob Vennum played acoustic guitar and sang some of that London Girrrrrllllll ending. I played and sang all the stuff in between, and my favorite is the bell. The Dangers need to put this into the live set!!!

-Chris LeRoy


She took all her allegiance
Packed it up in a bag
And she walked across the ocean
Like a street that held the only peace
She ever really had

And she wanted to be so good
And she wanted to be so bad
She wanted to be a London Girl
London Girl

Well I see you’ve been elected
From a rock and roll year
Touring with a case in hand
And coming to the only land
You ever were really near

And you want to be so precious
Just like you wanted in other words
You wanted to be a London Girl
London Girl

Well I hope you pick the right lines
I wish you best in the world
And I hope you keep those letters
And those photographs around you
Like a little, little girl
Cause I love you more than need you
And I know it’s a wicked world
And may you always be a London Girl
You know I want you to be a London Girl
London Girl

Chris LeRoy © 1981
Published by New West Crash Music/ASCAP


2 comments to DRIVE BYES: Chrissie Hynde LONDON GIRL

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