As The 31 Days of Rocktober enters its third Friday, it’s time again to blend the rock picks with my normal Friday Funk installment. Going with The Predenters’ My City Was Gone, a song from 30 years ago this month. Enduring rock on the funk tip which reminds us all to endure through the funk of the last five years, much like the economic funk when the song came out.
And there are two fun facts about this band and song:
(1) Pretenders front woman Chrissie Hynde is from Akron, Ohio which this song is about, but she moved to London in 1973 to get in with the music scene there. She worked at clothing designer Vivienne Westwood’s punk rock store SEX in the World’s End counter culture epicenter of London where The Clash members also lived. At that time Sid Vicious, who would later become famous as Sex Pistols bassist, was 17 and he’d hang around the store. Hynde tried to get him to marry her so she could be legit with an actual work permit. They went their separate ways and Hynde eventually cobbled together The Pretenders in London. Lots of drug issues caused band members to come and go, but she has remained the one consistent member to this day.
(2) There’s a controversial back story about this song because Rush Limbaugh has used it unauthorized since 1984 to open his show. Hard to think of anything un-funkier than political radio bluster, but it’s a good thing the song’s iconic status will forever outweigh this fact. The story goes much deeper.
So if you can shake off that second fact, then get your cool back for the weekend with this Friday Funk, Rocktober style…