List of The Pretenders band members

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The Pretenders performing in 2007.

The Pretenders is an English-American rock band from Hereford. Formed in 1978, the group originally consisted of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chrissie Hynde, lead guitarist and keyboardist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers. The band's current lineup includes Hynde and Chambers alongside bassist Nick Wilkinson (since 2005), lead guitarist James Walbourne, pedal steel guitarist Eric Heywood (both since 2008) and keyboardist Carwyn Ellis (since 2017).

History[edit]

The Pretenders were formed in the spring of 1978 by Chrissie Hynde, James Honeyman-Scott, Pete Farndon and Martin Chambers.[1] After the release of Pretenders in 1980 and Pretenders II in 1981, Farndon was fired from the band on 14 June 1982 due to increasing problems with drug abuse, which had led to Honeyman-Scott claiming he would leave if the bassist was not dismissed.[2] Only two days later, however, Honeyman-Scott died as a result of heart failure brought on by a cocaine overdose. Farndon himself would die by drowning in his bathtub after overdosing on heroin a year later.[3] On 20 July, Hynde and Chambers began recording the single "Back on the Chain Gang", written in tribute to Honeyman-Scott, with session musicians Billy Bremner (lead guitar), Robbie McIntosh (rhythm guitar) and Tony Butler (bass).[4] The single was released in October,[5] and later featured on the 1984 album Learning to Crawl.[6]

In February 1983, The Pretenders returned with McIntosh and bassist Malcolm Foster.[7] Learning to Crawl was released in 1984, after which the band remained largely inactive for a year (save for an appearance at Live Aid) as Hynde married Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr and gave birth to daughter Yasmin.[8] The group returned in early 1986 to record Get Close, but shortly after sessions began Chambers was fired by Hynde due to a deterioration in his drumming ability, which also led to Foster leaving.[9] Chambers and Foster were replaced by Blair Cunningham and T. M. Stevens, respectively, who completed the album's recording and remained for its 1987 tour (keyboardist Bernie Worrell also joined at the same time).[10] Shortly after beginning the tour, however, Hynde dismissed Stevens and Worrell and brought back Rupert Black (who had toured since Learning to Crawl) and Foster, who remained for the rest of the year.[11] Johnny Marr replaced McIntosh in late 1987,[12] before the band went on hiatus.[10]

Hynde returned in 1990 with Packed!, which was credited to The Pretenders only to fulfil a contractual obligation – Hynde was the only credited band member on the album, although Cunningham performed drums on all eleven tracks.[13] In 1993 the band contributed a Jimi Hendrix cover of Bold As Love for the Hendrix tribute album Stone Free. A new full lineup of the band was formed in 1993 when Hynde enlisted guitarist Adam Seymour and, later, bassist Andy Hobson and returning drummer Chambers for Last of the Independents, released in 1994.[10] Zeben Jameson was added as touring keyboardist, and the lineup of The Pretenders remained constant for more than ten years.[14] Hobson was replaced by Nick Wilkinson in 2005,[15] and in 2008 Seymour was replaced by James Walbourne and pedal steel guitarist Eric Heywood, both of whom first featured on Break Up the Concrete.[16]

Members[edit]

Current[edit]

Image Name Years active Instruments Release contributions
Chrissie_Hynde_2013b.jpg
Chrissie Hynde 1978–present
  • lead and backing vocals
  • rhythm guitar
  • harmonica
all The Pretenders releases
Mott_the_Hoople.jpg
Martin Chambers
  • 1978–1986
  • 1993–present
  • drums
  • percussion
  • backing and occasional lead vocals
all The Pretenders releases except Packed! (1990), Break Up the Concrete (2008) and Alone (2016)
Nick Wilkinson 2005–present
  • bass
  • backing vocals
  • Break Up the Concrete (2008)
  • Live in London (2010)
Kami_Thompson_and_James_Walbourne.jpg
James Walbourne 2008–present
  • lead guitar
  • keyboards
  • backing vocals
Eric Heywood
  • pedal steel guitar
  • backing vocals

Former[edit]

Image Name Years active Instruments Release contributions
JHS Dec81.JPG
James Honeyman-Scott 1978–1982 (until his death)
  • lead guitar
  • keyboards
  • backing vocals
Farndon_Dec81.JPG
Pete Farndon 1978–1982 (died 1983)
  • bass
  • backing vocals
Robbie_McIntosh.jpg
Robbie McIntosh 1983–1987
  • lead guitar
  • backing vocals
Malcolm Foster
  • 1983–1986
  • 1987
  • bass
  • backing vocals
  • Learning to Crawl (1984)
  • Get Close (1986) – one track only
Blair Cunningham 1986–1993
  • drums
  • backing vocals
  • occasional percussion
  • Get Close (1986)
  • Packed! (1990)
TM_Stevens_Berlin_Garbaty2.jpg
T. M. Stevens 1986–1987 bass Get Close (1986)
Johnny Marr University of Salford 2012 crop.jpg
Johnny Marr 1987 lead guitar "The Windows of the World" (1988)
Adam Seymour 1993–2008
  • lead guitar
  • keyboards
  • backing vocals
all The Pretenders releases from Last of the Independents (1994) to Loose in L.A. (2003)
Andy Hobson 1993–2005
  • bass
  • backing vocals

Touring[edit]

Image Name Years active Instruments Details
Chris Thomas 1983 keyboards After producing the band's debut album, Thomas played keyboards at both 1983 Pretenders shows.[17]
Rupert Black
  • 1984–1986
  • 1987
Black took over from Thomas after the release of Learning to Crawl from 1984, remaining until 1986.[18]
Bernie Worrell - SociaLibrium, Vienna2009 a.jpg
Bernie Worrell 1987 (died 2016) Worrell performed on Get Close and became a part of the Pretenders touring lineup for subsequent shows.[10]
Zeben Jameson 1994–2006
  • keyboards
  • percussion
  • backing vocals
Jameson was the Pretenders' touring keyboardist from their reformation in 1994 to his departure in 2006.[14]
Carwyn Ellis
  • 2012
  • 2017–present
  • keyboards
  • acoustic guitar
Ellis has been the bands touring keyboardist since 2017, He has not contributed to any albums yet.[19]

Timeline[edit]

Lineups[edit]

Period Members Releases
Spring 1978 – June 1982
June 1982 – February 1983
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, guitar
  • Martin Chambers – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Billy Bremner – lead guitar (session member)
  • Robbie McIntosh – rhythm guitar (session member)
  • Tony Butler – bass, backing vocals (session member)
February 1983 – summer 1986
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Robbie McIntosh – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Malcolm Foster – bass, backing vocals
  • Martin Chambers – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Chris Thomas – keyboards (1983 touring member)
  • Rupert Black – keyboards (1984–1986 touring member)
Summer 1986 – early 1987
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Robbie McIntosh – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • T. M. Stevens – bass
  • Blair Cunningham – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Bernie Worrell – keyboards (1987 touring member)
  • Get Close (1987) – remaining tracks
Early – fall 1987
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Robbie McIntosh – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Malcolm Foster – bass, backing vocals
  • Blair Cunningham – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Rupert Black – keyboards (touring member)
none
Late 1987
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Johnny Marr – lead guitar
  • Malcolm Foster – bass, backing vocals
  • Blair Cunningham – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Rupert Black – keyboards (touring member)
Late 1987 – late 1993
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, guitar
  • Blair Cunningham – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Late 1993 – early 2005
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Adam Seymour – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Andy Hobson – bass, backing vocals
  • Martin Chambers – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Zeben Jameson – keyboards, backing vocals (touring member)
Early 2005 – early 2008
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Adam Seymour – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Nick Wilkinson – bass, backing vocals
  • Martin Chambers – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Zeben Jameson – keyboards, backing vocals (touring member)
none
Early 2008 – present
  • Chrissie Hynde – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • James Walbourne – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Nick Wilkinson – bass, backing vocals
  • Eric Heywood – pedal steel guitar, backing vocals
  • Martin Chambers – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Carwyn Ellis – keyboards, acoustic guitar (touring member since 2017)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cornyn, Stan (27 August 2013). "Stay Tuned By Stan Cornyn: Chrissie's Pretenders". Rhino Entertainment. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  2. ^ Henke, James (26 April 1984). "Chrissie Hynde Without Tears". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Remembering Pete Farndon of the Pretenders". Rhino Entertainment. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  4. ^ Buskin, Richard (September 2005). "Classic Tracks: The Pretenders 'Back On The Chain Gang'". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  5. ^ Heatley, Michael (24 November 2014). The Boy in the Song: The Real Stories Behind 50 Classic Pop Songs. London, England: Pavilion Books. p. 17. ISBN 978-1907554520. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  6. ^ Deming, Mark. "Learning to Crawl – Pretenders: Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Pretenders: Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  8. ^ Gostin, Nick (13 March 2017). "Rocker Chrissie Hynde says she's a recluse and 'lone wolf' in new documentary". New York Daily News. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  9. ^ Leonard, Michael (September 1990). "Come a Long Way". Guitarist. Ely, England: Music Maker Publications. Archived from the original on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2017.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ a b c d Wade, Chris (April 2010). "The Story of The Pretenders" (PDF). Hound Dawg. No. 6. Leeds, England: Wisdom Twins Books. pp. 20–21. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  11. ^ Sobsey, Adam (11 April 2017). Chrissie Hynde: A Musical Biography. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-1477310397. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  12. ^ Locker, Melissa (28 January 2013). "Johnny Marr on the Smiths, 'The Messenger' and Going Solo After All These Years". Time. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Happy 25th: Pretenders, Packed!". Rhino Entertainment. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders on Guilfest 2002". Bucks Free Press. 2 July 2002. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Ipswich rock star living the dream". Ipswich Star. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  16. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (23 July 2008). "Pretenders To Roll Out New Album As MP3s". Billboard. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Pretenders Live Shows 1983". The Pretenders. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Pretenders Live Shows 1984". The Pretenders. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Carwyn Ellis". The Good Life Society. Retrieved 2022-11-26.

External links[edit]