Skip to content

Pretenders Welcome Johnny Marr, Dave Grohl During Glastonbury Festival Set

Paul McCartney also emerged from sidestage to give a quick thumbs-up
The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde with Johnny Marr and Dave Grohl at the 2023 Glastonbury Festival (photo: Jim Dyson / Redferns)

The Pretenders welcomed their former guitarist Johnny Marr and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl as special guests during their set tonight (June 24) at the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival. Paul McCartney also made a brief appearance to give his signature thumbs-up gesture before retreating to the side of the stage.

Marr, who was in the Pretenders for a year shortly after the Smiths split up in 1987, enlivened the Glastonbury set by playing guitar on several tracks, including “Back on the Chain Gang” and “Don’t Get Me Wrong.” He remained onstage when Grohl joined on drums for a raucous “Tattooed Love Boys,” which was preceded by a tongue-in-cheek introduction from Chrissie Hynde.

“Apparently there’s a drunk hanging around backstage,” she said. “We’ve asked security to get rid of him, but he’s a big guy and I don’t want any trouble. He insists on playing, so, come on out, Dave Grohl.”

Yesterday, Grohl and Foo Fighters offered a big surprise of their own when they played an unannounced, hour-long set on the Pyramid Stage. It was the same setting for the band’s Glastonbury debut in 1998.

In a related turn of events, Rick Astley and Blossoms reactivated their Smiths cover band today for a 16-song performance featuring “Hand in Glove,” “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side,” “Girlfriend in a Coma,” and “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.” Marr was less than thrilled about the group’s existence when it formed in 2021, but has since dropped the subject.

Chrissie Hynde and Johnny Marr (photo: Jim Dyson / Redferns)