An engaging performer and a founding member of The Pretenders, Pete Farndon embodied the punk ethos of attitude over skill. However as the band progressed, he developed the necessary chops, as so many players do in their early years with steady work on the bandstand.
Of course, Chrissie’s songs reign supreme in The Pretenders – as does her vision of the band, hence Pete worked the lower register exclusively, and outlined the changes with rudimentary root / third / fifth passages, and basically (pun) stayed out of harm’s way. Bassists who’ve followed in Pete’s bootsteps have noted to me (and in various publications), that Hynde is rather dictatorial towards her players – all Pretenders bass passages must be Chrissie approved. Note that the band has employed dozens of players since Farndon’s firing, and tragic passing.
Pete also served as a backing vocalist and composed two songs which made it to wax “The Wait” and “Space Invader.” Rumors abound that on occasion session player(s) were called in to ghost his parts, but I have no official proof…so I cannot confirm such claims.
Farndon’s primary weapons of choice included Fender Jazz and Precision basses, and a Rickenbacker 4001.