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What guitar is Chrissie Hynde holding on the cover of Pretenders' "Last Of The Independents"?
It was surprisingly difficult to find the answer to the question in the title of this Post, so, to save other people the wander around the Internet that it cost me, and to get straight to the point, here is the answer: It's a Kramer Ferrington.
In 1985-86, Kramer began its relationship with Danny Ferrington, the Nashville-based luthier who built several guitars for celebrities and, himself had became a reputable reputation for new designs of electric/acoustic guitars. Ferrington designed all of the models of the Kramer Ferrington lines and Kramer had the majority of them made in Korea. The idea was to have an acoustic with the feel of an electric. These guitars were heavily advertised by big names such as [Eddie Van Halen] and Dweezil Zappa.
The first batch of Ferringtons were offered in 1986, the KFS-1 (Strat shape and the KFT-1 (Tele shape). These sported thin bound front and back bodies, off-round sound hole, bolt on maple necks, banana headstocks, rosewood fretboards, and a passive transducer pickup mounted on the bridge with a volume and tone control on the upper horn of the body. Colors were black, white, red and cherry sunburst.
A few months later, the heads, like the USA Kramer lines, were changed to the pointy/droopy variety and diamond inlays in the fretboard.
Despite some disturbing lyrics* and a weak and predictable "political" track, and despite the album not having been made a by a "real band"—it's mostly Chrissie Hynde and Adam Seymour and different session rhythm sections—one of my favourite Pretenders albums is Last Of The Independents. Hynde is photographed on its front sleeve design posing with a thinline semi-acoustic with a hair-metallish droopy-and-pointy headstock.
After rather-more-convoluted searching than I had hoped, I found out exactly what model of guitar from this forum, where commenters are not positive about the quality of the instrument itself. Its shortcomings probably contributed to the failure of the commercial adventure responsible.
Hynde is dismissive of her guitar-playing abilities, but that's because she values songwriting above virtuosity—one reason her best songs are so good. If you want to read about the gear she uses, you can check out this article from Premier Guitar, but the most interesting stuff in that interview (as so often with rockstar interviews) is about her approach to music in general:
I don’t think [my guitar playing has] evolved at all. I’m in exactly the same spot I was at when I was 22. I’ve played more because I’ve gone on tours. I absolutely fucking love guitar, but I don’t dig it that way.
I mean, I started painting a lot this year. Once I start that, I can do it for four hours and not look at or listen to anything else, and not lose focus. Shit, if I did that with a guitar, I’d be a hotshot player by now. But it’s not my medium. For me, it’s more writing songs and singing.
I was a rhythm guitar fan right from being inspired to play by listening to James Brown, where the rhythm was the anchor of the whole song and everything was based around it—sometimes on only one chord. That really turned me on. I like things that never change. I’ve discovered that with the least amount of chord changes you can come up with the most melodies and stuff, and I’ve stayed on that.
*[Apparently non-ironic enthusiasm for being on the receiving end of domestic abuse.]