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May 10, 1980 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-10

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Page 10-Saturday,.May 10, 1980-The Michigan Daily
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I

b By JIM ROBINS
The Motor City Roller Rink in
Warren was the scene of the local
premier of two very different modern
musical conglomerations last week.
Monday night Johnny (Rotten) Lydon's
Public Image Ltd. arrived, bringing
their new brand of musical terrorism to
the Roller Rink. Two nights later the
Pretenders; a more conventional new
wave band led by the exceptional vocal
and lyrical prowess of lead
singer/rhythm guitarist Chrissie
Hynde.
Detroit's punk new wave community
was out in force to greet Public Image
Ltd. There were a lot of people wrapped
tigt n ther h-t h'A -at- - n -

safety pins were displayed prominently
for the occasion. However, Johnny
Lydon was not impressed; he had come
to play new music, not dredge up the old
Sex Pistols' nihilism.
PUBLIC Image Ltd.'s set was a dark
simmering brew of stunning musical
elements. Bassist Jah Wobble and
drummer Martin Atkins provided con-
stant rhythmic patterns (reminiscent
of the reggae "dub" style played with
obsessive attention, Guitarist Keith
Levene pushed minimilist noted out to
another galaxy, while Lydon added a
persisitent stream of howlingly
charismatic vocals. The result was
music with a dynamic aural quality:
T--i' t s --in20 ^ --- icl -lrt '- h%

a haunting lyrical content. It was music
without compromise, but it was not
rock and roll, as we know it.
The audience reaction was decidedly
mixed to Public Image's performance.
Many people had come to see the old
buzz-saw pyrotechnics of the Sex
Pistols. They crowded up close to the
stage, spitting and throwing debris, and
jeering at the band. This prompted
Lydon to retort, "You're all so
boring !", and lead the band off the
stage less than a half hour into the set.
They did return however, about ten
minutes later to play another half hour
of music, without encore. Some people
were a bit dumbfounded by the whole
affair "I Mra tho --ein -t T -'n

figure out what drug to take to it,"
commented one dazed listener.
OTHER members of the audience
were glad to see the band return to the
stage and were satisfied to continue
where they left off; dancing furiously
but comfortably to the bands' Brave
New World boogie.
Public Image Ltd. presented a highly
explosive new sound for their local
debut. As with most things that are new
and provocative, the initial reactions to
the band were mixed. Public Image
Ltd. is to be praised for standing firm
by their unrelenting musical vision.
Somewhere there has to be a receptive
audience for their new music,
sometime during this decade.
WATCHING Chrissie Hynde is
riveting and revelatory-she is what's
happening in the Pretenders. In con-
cert, her vocals were flawless. Hynde
possesses a voice that can convey a full
range of emotions and for her Michigan
debut she didn't miss a note, working
through a set conprised primarily of
compositions from the bands first
album, The Pretenders.
Unfortunately the rest of the band
falls way short of Hynde's awesome
talent. Lead guitarist James
Honeyman Scott provided a limited
array of New Wave power-chord riffs,
actually reworked sixties rock and roll
cliches that become boring rather
quickly. The rhythm section of bassist
Pete Farndon and drummer Martin
Chambers played competently, but
without anything inventive to offer. The
musical background they provided for
Chrissie Hynde's songs came across as
overly-calculated and devoid of any
new ideas.
Chrissis Hynde wasn't propelled in
concert by her band, but the way that
the E Street Band spurs Bruce
Springsteen on, or the way the Attrac-
tions perfectly frame and accent Elvis
Costello's vocals. It's a shame. Chrissie
Hynde deserves better than she's got.
When she sang the band's current hit
"Brass in Pocket" she sang; "I'm
special, so special ... ". Well, she is
special. She is special enough to have a
band that will help propel her into the
future (however she is not special
enough to give photographers the rough
time she gave them during her sound
check and photo session).
Hynde writes great lyrics and proved
that she can deliver them live with
power and sensuality, without falling
into parody or coming across as ex-
ploitative and cheap. The crowd gave
an enthusiastic response to her and
even to the bands presentation. The
Pretenders could go on framing Hyn-
de's lyrics with proven rock and roll
melodies and eventually go on to super-
stardom.

I
a
a

0

Talk about triumphant returns! Chrissie Hynde (center) left Akron a few years ago to seek fame and fortune in London.
Well, now she's back at the helm of the Pretenders. perhaps the hottest new band of 1980. The Pretenders are shown
here backstage at the Motor City Roller Rink, Detroit's, uh, unique new concert venue.
MA RINE R
thuSunday
PRESENTS 0t4
2001: ASPACEODYSSEys C
Stanley Kubrick, 1968,
If not the 'ultimate trip' as the ads proclaim, 2001 is
certainly the ultimate cinematic experience and the
most original, mind-blowing vision to hit the big CINEMA
screen. Less than 46 of the film's 141 minutes are WILDTEENA
taken up by dialogue; the rest features the stun-
ning, much acclaimed special effects. One year and ROCK ANDI
many millions of dollars make this a movie that can't 0
be seen too many times. Keir Dullea and HAL star. THE V
35mm-Cinemascope. (141 min) See BRANDO be the inno
ANGELL HALL 7:OO & 9:45 $1.50 andthe*gangbeanFng
THURSDAY.5/15-BEFORE TlHE REVOLUTION ,: See yoy Tves s

I0

a

GUILD PRESENTS THE
GERS DOUBLE FEATURE
ROLL HIGH SCHOOL
i7:30& 10:30 and
VILD ONE at9:05
cent tough guy and see the Ramones
but innocent.
ENTERTAINMENT-7:30 & 10:00
ay wjif new ad. Re*i.ond go, $ a

40

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g x ^.L x,. mr aE u.:&' a +x. 'k. n_. w$.. Fr .. .8 . 1 $ i Y ff C. F E -4'" B B T.1! Y

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