Tom Petty Tribute
Instead of everyone posting the same obituary over and over and expressing grief on the Rumours board, I think its a good idea to create a tribute thread to Tom. Only positive things.
I was a Petty fan around 1982. I remember buying this awesome red Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers T shirt. It had one of those shiny iron on patches on the front. I cherished the shirt so much that I only wore it on special occasions. I did not like to wash it too much because those iron on patches faded :eek: The Heartbreakers had a sound like any good band does. Even without singing the music could let you know it was the Heartbreakers. I heard someone on the TV this morning sum it up pretty good. Tom never went pop but his songs somehow broke through and became popular. One of my favorite Petty albums is Pack up the plantation (1985). I played the hell out of that cassette. The Heartbreakers were so damn good live. Plus the album also included a live version of Needles and Pins with Stevie. I remember actually getting pissed when Tom went solo without the Heartbreakers. However his 1989 release was one of the biggest albums that year with multiple big hits. Tom was an excellent songwriter and his band was so good. Tom's music catalog is insane. Tom was a very honest and blunt person. He went full circle to flying the confederate flag at his concerts to discussing how it was wrong to do that. I just loved everything about Tom. You are a true rock legend.
"Well, maybe a little rough around the edges
Or inside a little hollow,
I get faced with some things, sometimes
That are so hard to swallow, hey hey hey
I was born a rebel, down in Dixie
On a Sunday morning
Yeah with one foot in the grave
And one foot on the pedal, I was born a rebel"
Yesterday the news came to me while I was listening to Hard Advice, for some reason in the morning I realized that I hadn't listened to this song in quite a while even though I love it, so when finally I sit at the computer I put it on.
After that I couldn't stop listening to Learning to fly; Well the good olí days may not return indeed.
The year was 1976. My boyfriend at the time came home from "work" with a blue colored album that had a guy on the front with a sly grin, long blonde hair, dreamy eyes and a black leather jacket. And a heart with an arrow through it and a banner... kinda like a tattoo. We were into black leather jackets and tattoos. My boyfriend's dad was a member of an infamous biker "club." He said he got the album from one of his dad's associates who was a manager for this band called Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. This was a pre-release of their first album. The guy said this band is going to be big. My boyfriend and I agreed that all managers must say that about their new artists. We only played the album once before we realized there wasn't a bad song on the whole thing. So we did what most people did back then and used the stereo system to tape a copy of it onto 8-track so we could listen to it in the van. There were 4 other young people in the house and only one stereo. Well that 8-track didn't leave the tape player in over a year. It played every time we went somewhere in the van. I quickly learned all the lyrics to each song and before long we both agreed that this band was going to be HUGE!
Little did we know exactly how huge it would be. I only saw them in concert once, not for lack of interest but lack of time and funds. (too many concerts, not enough time.) Tom was one of the most professional people I have ever seen on stage. He was relaxed and he had total control. The band was tight, the songs were tight. I walked away that night with such a huge amount of respect for him as a performer.
Tom is one of those musicians you figured was going to go on forever. I am saddened that it didn't come to pass. I am deeply saddened and it hurts to know he is gone from this Earth.
Rest in eternal peace Mr. Petty. This world cannot thank you enough for the joy your talent and your passion brought to it.
Stern had a great tribute to Tom this morning. Tom never did the Stern show but it was not because Tom didn't want to. Tom refused to get up early to do the show. He wanted to pre-record the interview from LA or appear via satellite. Howard always wants to keep his show live. Although Howard has seen Tom in concert and even a private show that Tom did in someone's living room. The big debate was Petty vs Springsteen. They both do similar stuff with writings about personal experiences. they talked about would you rather drive across country with a greatest hits CD of Petty or Springsteen. Many in the studio said Petty. Some may not know but Petty declined Boys of Summer. After the song was rejected, it was offered to Don Henley which became his biggest solo it.
Tom could really write. All his albums are so good so its hard to pick a favorite but Damn the Torpedos is considered by "critics" to be his best work.
I love how the first verse of Edge of 17 is about Jane meeting Tom. That is forever in history and so freaking cool. That is also how Stevie got the name of her most iconic song thinking Jane said Edge of 17 instead of Age of 17.
With the horror in Las Vegas his passing is majorly over looked by the news media. Its mentioned but not at the level is would have been without the Las Vegas horror.
Springsteen also saluted Petty via Twitter on Tuesday. "Down here on E Street, we're devastated and heartbroken over the death of Tom Petty," he wrote. "Our hearts go out to his family and bandmates. I've always felt a deep kinship with his music. A great songwriter and performer, whenever we saw each other, it was like running into a long lost brother. Our world will be a sadder place without him."
My favorite Petty tunes
1. Change of heart
2. Learning to fly
3. American Girl
4. Last dance with Mary Jane
5. You Got lucky
7. The Waiting
8. Stop Draggin My Heart Around
9. Here Comes My girl
10. Don't do me like that
Tough list to do
Funny lost story about Tom Petty. In 1987 Petty released Jammin Me which was a hit but the MTV video was huge because it was pretty ground breaking. The song mentions Eddie Murphy and Eddie was spooked and puzzled. I remember Eddie talking to the press and saying something like "There is some white guy that put me in his song. I don't know what its about because I am not into white guy's music." Eddie was confused why someone he does not know took a swipe at him in the song.
The lyric is "Take back Eddie Murphy...give em all a place to go"
Tom responded that it was just fate that had him put Murphy in the song. Tom's song is about an out of control society and as Tom was writing the song there was a National Enquirer on the table. Eddie Murphy was on the cover and that is how Tom came up with that line. He was not really singling out Murphy. Whoever was on that cover may have made it to the song ;)
...just a little bit of rock history
Unlike 24K Gold and some of Stevie's discography, I can't think of a bad TPHB album . Much of his work needs to be segmented, however, because there's the early LA years starting in 1976, right after Gainesville's Mudcrutch (pre 1976) and the work at Mudcrutch Farm and then the 80s and later more "POP" albums. I prefer the early stuff, TPHB and DTT. This was when he was still writing simply and as if he just stepped out of High Springs or Alachua, FL . He often wrote of those times as if he were playing at Dub's on 13th street. His LA stuff, >1980 was more "pop" to me, and that's not a bad thing, just different. American Girl (Mudcrutch-ish) is a classic TPHB song that was born and bred in Gainesville (listen to the lyrics and the references to the roads running through the town, 441) versus the IGWO, that although it maintained a LOT of his roots, was far different IMHO than his early-mid 70s stuff. Even SDMHA with Stevie, in 1981 , was more like his Mudcrutch days than Free Falling and Learning to Fly. Just different. His later songs became less love songs and the angst of being a poor Florida boy was driven from him in LA.
I often listened to Tom on Sirius radio and he often referred to his past as the "good old days" as if somehow, despite his success in LA, he missed the simplicity of growing up in a small southern college town. His songs often reflected that. He also had a beef with people coming to his concerts and never putting down their cell phones and families not talking around the dinner table while they all just looked at their phones, like as he described it, Jack o Lanterns in a pumpkin patch with their faces all lit up by the phone. Success never jaded Tom and that's why his writing, despite being different in later years, never strayed too far off a path that he chose. He could also get quite ornery when someone would make a comment as if his good old days were behind him. He always said he had a LOT more in him.
I was thinking about it the other day, even before he passed, and one of the greatest R&R vids was Live from GatorVille in 2006. I was there, probably more to see her royal highness than to see TP, BUT you could tell from the way TP addressed the crowd that he was proud and honored to be HOME!!! I could just see Benmont and TP taking Stevie on a tour of "their town" and showing her Mudcrutch Farm and all their hangouts. Too bad that Mama Lo's was out of business due to her passing, because I am sure they would have wound up there too!!
Surprisingly, they are requesting a coroners inquest because it was reported that he had not been to a doc since about 1999?/ Don't know if that's accurate, but I can see TP just saying " Oh yeah man, I'm fine."
Tom Petty (and The Heartbreakers) Greatness:
Gone too soon.......
Awesome tribute Gators!
TP was a BIG Gator fan and would address a lot of concerts when they were vying for the Nat Championship with Go Gators. I Won't Back Down was a great selection!! Tom would be happy to see 90,000 people and countless more on TV singing one of his signature songs!!
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