“I love the magazine [Arthur]. There’s a really cool little shop in Akron, Ohio called Revival, and they stock it, so I took it home one day. And I called [Pretenders publicist] Jim Merlis and I said, ‘OK, I’ve just seen the best magazine in America, so can we do it?’ It’s a really cool magazine, real interesting, diverse, good articles…”
—Chrissie Hynde, as told to Oliver Hall, September 2008
For the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Akron, Ohio has always been a hometown in permanent decline, a place she fled for England. Now America’s greatest ex-pat rock ‘n’ roller sees the future in her past: a reborn urban core where counter-culture businesses, including her own new restaurant (vegan, of course), are helping restore progressive community to a downtown trashed by short-sighted greed. That sense of small-is-better renewal runs through her band’s new album, which features the playing of James Walbourne, an acclaimed young rockabilly guitarist who joins Hynde here for an exclusive conversation with Arthur’s Oliver Hall.