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Chrissie Hynde: Neil Young is a ‘Pot-Smoking, Lovable Hippie’

Chrissie Hynde Neil Young
Scott Gries, Getty Images

Chrissie Hynde is set to release ‘Stockholm,’ her first-ever solo album, on June 10. In a new interview, she spoke about working with Neil Young, who lent his distinctive guitar to the song ‘Down The Wrong Way.’

“Neil is the pot-smoking, lovable hippie that you think he is and that everyone loves,” she told the BBC. “And he’s exactly what you think he’s going to be…But he’s also God. You wouldn’t think of asking him to do you a favor. Just out of respect.”

Hynde had written the song with Bjorn Yttling of Swedish indie band Peter, Bjorn and John early in the process, and kept referring to it as the “Neil Young song” due to its sound while teasing Yttling that she could get him on the song. After about six months, she finally invited Young into the session where, typically, he recorded his part in only a few takes.

“He blew the lid off the place,” she continued. “We were all fighting over the plectrum [guitar pick] he left. We’re talking about grown men in tears.”

With the Pretenders, Hynde has served as Young’s opening act in the past, but they have a deeper connection. Hynde was a student at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam War. Four students, one of whom Hynde knew, were killed, which inspired Young to write ‘Ohio.’ Hynde eventually thanked Young for writing it, because her friend was a fan of his.

The respect is mutual. “She’s a rock n’ roll woman,” Young said when he inducted the Pretenders into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. “She’s got it in her heart. She’s gonna be rockin’ ’til she drops, and I love her…I’m very proud just to know her”

Next: Top 10 Pretenders Songs

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