When one of the guards shouted to her that some of the fans in the front row were complaining about their view being blocked, she declared into the microphone, "Well, I'll just give the people sitting down their money back--if that's what they want."
About the incident, Hynde later explained: "I don't see that big a change in my feelings. I think it just took a while for people to catch on to that (softer) side of the music. On the first album, for instance, we had some softer material . . . songs like 'Lovers of Today' and 'Stop Your Sobbing.'
"I might try to be a little more sensitive now, but I'm not going to take crap from somebody just because I am 35. If someone gets out of line, they are going to hear about it."
Hynde applied that same resolve to the band membership.
After a brief pause, she said, "I don't really want to go into it, but I guess I owe people some sort of explanation because I don't want it to look like I am just sorta flaky.
"Martin's (Chambers, the original drummer) great strength is his showmanship and I miss him like crazy on stage because he had this great Keith Moon-like manner and I had a horrible time when we did decide to replace him.
"But I wanted a new feel in the band, to move it slightly in a more (soulful, R&B direction) and we started working in New York with some other musicians. Things worked great in the studio and when it was time to go on the road, we said, 'OK, let's all go.' "
The exhilaration didn't last long.
After the first night of the tour, she realized things weren't right. "I came off stage in the worst depression I have ever been in after a show. The problem, basically, was the Pretenders didn't feel like my English rock 'n' roll band anymore. It was a subtle thing, musically, culturally, an attitude that flavors the whole evening. A lot of it has to do with humor . . . a very idiosyncratic thing that is hard to define."
After a couple more nights, she sat down with her manager, Dave Hill, and other close friends and decided to make the move.
"The whole thing blew my mind," she said. "We had changed the band and here we were doing it again. This is no criticism against them as musicians. They are brilliant. We had already made a video with the band, done photo sessions. There are now $30,000 worth of tour programs sitting in a warehouse because we can't use them."
Hynde comes across as thoughtful, opinionated and honest--someone who works hard against being swallowed up by an image. Much like John Lennon during the final years of his life, she strives to protect her normalcy.
Leaning back on a sofa, she said: "One way I try to keep a balance is not to think about how other people see me. I will never watch one of my (television) interviews and I rarely read interviews I've done. I try to, but after about a paragraph I just can't handle it.
"I think a lot of people (in this business) become self-conscious because they do read their press and watch themselves on television and they begin to play down the things that embarrass them or don't seem cool. That's where they get hung up in a sort of image.
"If I watched or read every interview I had done, I would walk out of this hotel . . . a changed person. I would be walking differently. I would be talking differently. I would try to knock out all the things I didn't like about the way I acted. So I just avoid seeing me from those eyes."
One way she tries to protect her normalcy is to take her daughters on the road with her.
"When I had (the first baby) a lot of people said, 'You are going to ruin your career,' which is funny because the whole reason I got into rock 'n' roll was so that I didn't have to have a 'career.' The idea of having a career was something associated with the straight world, which I didn't want to enter. Rock 'n' roll was just fun. I never thought of it as a career.
"But as soon as the band got successful, I sort of became a career girl unwittingly. All of a sudden people were patting me on the back, saying, 'Hey, we love you . . . where is the next album?' Stuff like that. It was all too smooth. It wasn't like there was any of the old outlaw or renegade spirit of rock any more.
"So, I think there was a subconscious thing like, 'Let me throw this thing off the rail (by having a baby) and then I will have to struggle again to get it back on track. I had never even held a baby before I had one. But it was a perfectly natural transition. After all, you have nine months to prepare for it."
Hynde leaned forward on the sofa and paused.
"You know, there used to be a lot of rules about rock 'n' roll. . . . You had to be a certain age, a certain sex, lead a certain kind of life style. But a lot of that has changed.
"I think one of the people who showed that you could do things your own way was Lennon. . . . That was something when he took five years off and then came back with a song like 'Woman,' which I think was one of the best things he ever wrote.
"He was someone in particular who impressed me because the Beatles were the first band I loved. I can remember when they first came along. He was probably 22 and I was 14 or something. We sort of grew up with him and he matured. He remained an artist. He showed that a lot of those old rules were out of date. He showed that you don't have to stop being a person to be a rock star."