Chrissie Hynde does not agree with the female musicians who claim there’s sexism in the music industry. In an interview with People, the 64-year-old Pretenders frontwoman says she has never encountered sexism in the music business. In the interview, Chrissie Hynde said the music industry has never been “a man’s world.”
“Of course, it’s not,” Chrissie said. “That’s another myth that they try to perpetuate. Of course, it hasn’t always been. Up until birth control, women were shackled to… they were a lot busier at home.”
Hynde went on to say that she did not have a harder time making it big in the business due to her sex, and hinted that women in rock ‘n roll even have an advantage because men like when women are proficient on the guitar.
“I think if anything, men – and I’m very experienced in this, I know what I’m talking about—men like when women do this. They think it’s fascinating. I tell ya right now, if a woman walked in here and looked like Pamela Anderson and played like Jimi Hendrix, there’s not a band in the world that wouldn’t be falling to her feet and saying, ‘Will you be in my band?'”
Hynde went on to point out several big names who liked collaborating with women on stage.
“Men like it when women can play guitar,” Chrissie said. “Prince had all women in his band. Jeff Beck likes working with women. These were the greatest guitar players alive.
Chrissie Hynde said that any serious musician just wants to sound as good as he or she can. Chrissie explained that anyone can make that happen and it has nothing to do with “sexual orientation, race, creed, none of that. “
Chrissie Hynde was adamant that she never faced any sexism, but she did admit there was one thing that held her back early in her career.
“The only thing that ever held me back was myself, because I was shy; I was embarrassed to play in front of guys; I didn’t think I was very good. They were always like, ‘Come on, come on!’ I was always the one like, ‘Uhhh.’ But no. So sue me! But no one tried to hold me back or gave me a hard time.”
Ray Davies, Chrissie Hynde and Alice Cooper pic.twitter.com/1ETazhRzMS— edge (@eddysan2013) June 21, 2016
Chrissie Hynde’s comments are in sharp contrast to those of Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wilson said that while her experience was “definitely about skill,” there were some challenges along the way.
“We had the idea as women that we could walk into music and be good at it, and be as good as any man, and have a career in it without being taken advantage of,” Wilson said. “So basically, those things came true. The obstacle course was just more difficult than we ever anticipated. We were optimistic and very naïve.”
Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart with Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen in 1980 pic.twitter.com/WOhri6dY4F— Histi Pics (@HistiPics) June 26, 2016
Her sister, Ann, pointed to the early ’80s era of MTV, when the Heart women were forced to get glammed up and wear bustiers for the band’s music videos.
“It didn’t take long to get sick of those and sick of the music video artifice,” Wilson told Fox 411. “At first, it was kind of a fashion statement and after a year or two it was like, ‘Can we move on now?’ And that was the most sexist period I’ve ever lived through, much more than the 70s.”
Wilson added her sister faced more of the sexism due to her guitar playing skills.
“She would play a show and be really amazing and powerful and somebody backstage would say, ‘Wow, you play really good for a girl. Is that thing really plugged in?'” the rocker revealed.
This is not the first time Chrissie Hynde’s views have been controversial. In an interview last year with London’s Sunday Times, Hynde made a shocking comment about rape victims. Hynde revealed that she takes “full responsibility” for the fact that she was raped in her 20s by a member of a biker gang, who offered to give her a ride to a party, but instead took her to an empty house and sexually assaulted her.
“Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility,” Hynde said. “You can’t paint yourself into a corner and then say whose brush is this? You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive. If you play with fire, you get burnt.”
Chrissie Hynde detailed the horrific experience in the 1980 Pretenders song “Tattooed Love Boys,” and she also wrote about rape in her memoir Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, in which she pointed a finger at women who dress provocatively.
“If you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him,” Chrissie wrote.
Take a look at the video below to see Chrissie Hynde talking about her memoir.
[Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images]