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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 124
Sun. May 13 2012

“My City Was Gone”
The Pretenders
1982

Trivia: Which current three time N.B.A. MVP shares his home roots of Akron, Ohio with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders?

Answer: LeBron James

“♫ I went back to Ohio/ but
my pretty countryside/ had
been paved down the middle/ by
a government that had no pride/ the
farms of Ohio/ had been
replaced by shopping malls/ and
Muzak filled the air
[…] ♫”

A turning point, lyrically, for Chrissie Hynde for The Pretenders. Although “My City Was Gone” was written about how Ohio was becoming besieged with environmental pollution due to modern development in her home of Akron. Think what “Shipbuilding” did for Elvis Costello’s social comment on the Falkland Island but for Ohio.

Actually, “My City Was Gone” sounds like Hynde composed the best sounding Stones Black & Blue era Stones song that Jagger/Richards have never written. Yes, “My City” is this good; unfortunately, “Was Gone” was relegated to B-Side status when it was released as a flip-side to the top 40 hit single “Back on the Chain Gang.”

Rush Limbaugh fans may recognize Tony Butler’s opening bass lick as the theme for Rush’s radio talk show. No fear, Pretenders fans, even though Rush swings right, Limbaugh and his show made payment arrangements, every time “My City” is played Rush’s donates a fee to Hynde’s favorite charity—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

I guarantee “My City Was Gone” is a song you may have heard, once, buried as a B-Side, now finally gets resurrected. Go back to Ohio with Hynde as your concerned guide. At least ‘My City” has the perfect sound of The Pretenders becoming a more socially conscious band thanks to Chrissie Hynde, one of the coolest socially conscious Mom rocking the planet. Happy Mother’s Day to all Mom’s everywhere, especially to Hynde, who’s songs are the lyrical voice of Akron, Ohio. What I love about Hynde’s songs like “My City Was Gone” – always sounds like they’re coming back home, reconnecting – a little bit closer with you.

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