#249: 1982, The Pretenders, My City Was Gone

by Jackie_South on August 7, 2011

As I said in my last post, I’m in Chicago at the moment at the time that the economic news has got grim.

Grabbing a cup of tea this afternoon in Cafe Descartes on Michigan Avenue (Motto: I Drink Therefore I Am), I heard this song come on the radio.

Whilst I agree with Ray North’s assessment that Brass In Pocket was The Pretenders’ highpoint, I’ve a bit of a soft spot for their Learning To Crawl era.  This song in particular: as well as the anti-Reaganomics lyrics, My City Was Gone has a great dirty blues bassline.

Given the economic news, it seemed perfectly timed.  Recorded during the early eighties slump, it recalls the economic devestation of Chrissie Hynde childhood home of Akron, Ohio.

Whilst it references Akron specifically (There was no train station/ There was no downtown/ South Howard had disappeared) it is a tale that could be transferred to many other cities in the east-Mid West rust belt in the eighties (though thankfully not Chicago).  We can only hope that the song serves as a warning and not a prophecy for current times.

Previous post:

Next post: