Chrissie Hynde Says John McEnroe Inspired '80s Pretenders Classic

Chrissie Hynde revealed that one of the Pretenders most successful tunes was inspired by tennis great John McEnroe. During an appearance on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, Hynde explained how the band's second Top 10 hit, 1986's "Don't Get Me Wrong" came to be, recalling, "I wanted to write a song for John because I’ve known him for a long time and he’s always getting in trouble -- so I heard. Because I never watched him play tennis particularly, because I’m not really a tennis fan. I hate to admit it because I don’t think he likes that very much. He used to say, 'Can’t you just pretend you’re into athletics when you’re with me?'" She went on to say, "He loved playing guitar. He’s a big music person, which is how I knew him, because he used to come to our shows and he was friendly with the band and stuff. I had in mind that I was going to write this song for him to do. Years later, when I was on British (Airways), I heard an announcement – because I did write some of that song on a plane -- and I think I nicked one of the top-line melodies from the overhead announcement: 'Dong-dong-dong-dong. . . Welcome to British Airways.' So. . . f*** them too!" Chrissie Hynde told us that although rock n' roll is an incredibly important part of her life, being a full-time mother helps her keep things in perspective: "This is, like, my hobby. I mean, I take it seriously and everything, but y'know, I just feel like a guy that goes out on the weekends to watch birds, y'know? Take my binoculars away, y'know, and it would break my heart. Y'know, I think a hobby is real important to people, if it's the thing you love the most. It can't take over your life. And I don't want to be glib about it, y'know? I think this is fantastic, and I make my living out of it, and it's my life's work and everything, y'know? But I have to keep it in perspective, 'cause I've got. . . y'know, I'm like a responsible mother and stuff." The Pretenders will serve as Fleetwood Mac's opening for a handful of European dates next June.