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13 November 2014

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You are in: Hereford and Worcester > Entertainment > Friday Session > Music map > Hynde v the hecklers

Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde

Hynde v the hecklers

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders lays into the hecklers at one of the band's early gigs - ironically in Hereford, where most of the band came from.

Early in The Pretenders career they played a gig in Hereford, where most of the band hailed from - guitarist James Honeyman-Scott kept a recording of the gig, and BBC Hereford and Worcester have been given access to it.

James Honeyman-Scott

James Honeyman-Scott

This was the fag end of the Punk era, when audiences still gobbed at performers - and when you put that together with some less than PC chanting at the legendarily volatile Chrissie Hynde, you have the recipe for some classic exchanges.

Here are some cleaned up highlights of some of the Hynde put-downs:

(Part of the crowd chant "Get 'em off") "You're exactly everything I heard about Hereford - immature, speed freaks, ****holes." (More heckling) "Get 'em off? This bloke reckons he'd love to get me in a bed."

"Well without a doubt - we've just played about thirty gigs, you see - this is the worst, most immature (expletive) audience I've ever seen in my life. If I wasn't getting paid then I'd have (expletive) off, because you guys are full of it. (Heckle) Would you like to come up here and say that? (Heckle) Oh yeh, it's easy to say carry on when I'm getting gob and beer in the face. I'd advise the first five rows to use the exit, because that's what it's for. So go."

"Thanks for being the worst (expletive) audience in England - this is our last number."

Denis Shiavon was backstage at the gig:

I was at the Pretenders' gig in Hereford when Chrissie Hynde 'roundly abused' the crowd... in fact I was backstage - I was a friend of the support band!

Just like to make a couple of points...

1. Yes, Chrissie Hynde gave the Hereford crowd the 'rough edge of her tongue' - but believe me, it was a two-way process - the crowd was pretty darned feisty (and abusive) too!

2. James Honeyman-Scott (guitarist of the Pretenders) worked for a time in legendary Hereford music shop 'Buzz Music' (before he got famous, obviously). This shop was in Widemarsh Street, in a tumbledown old building, on the site of what is now the Garrick House council offices. It was a mecca for all us local young musicians - we used to buy our instruments and spares/accessories from there, listen to records, meet and sit and chat, sometimes hanging around the place for entire Saturdays.

Alan Leary was at the gig:

Chrissie Hynd's comments came after some of the audience spat at her, and threw a pint, of what looked like lager, over her, as she approached her microphone after an instrumental break.

I was there along with about 500 others, the legal capacity was 200!

Alison Evans writes:

A group of us went to see the Pretenders at Malvern Winter Gardens - they were amazing!  It was either just before or after one of them died, can't remember who or how.  Just remember that the atmosphere was brilliant.

last updated: 03/06/2009 at 08:14
created: 14/07/2008

Have Your Say

If you were also at this gig, we'd love to hear your version of what went on

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

paul bayliss
I was bass player in the support band at this gig. Due to the lack of space, we had to perform right at the front of the stage and had no room to dodge any of the copious amounts of saliva that was being aimed at us at us from a few lads in the front rows.Of course the Pretenders had the same treatment. Apparently, it was an indication of appreciation in the late 1970's - In Hereford, anyway.

Did they have nowhere else to go that night? Why show up if you don't like the show?

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