Rock and roll heaven must be a happier place now, while we, in this shitty Tom Petty-less world, muddle along without a guiding light. Meanwhile, we are left on this mortal plane with Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews, Eddie And The Cruisers, an irresponsible incompetent CBS, Ray Parker Jr., Jason Aldine, Jared Kushner, Spin Doctors, Taylor Swift, Barenaked Ladies, bigger and better record breaking mass shootings on American soil, Tears For Fear, Half of Milli Vanilli, The Village People, Coldplay, Demi Lovato, The current Rolling Stones, and Right Said Fred. Space prevents me from making this list longer, time too.
Tom Petty is an anomaly. He is not one of my top ten favorite musicians, but I like his music as if he were. One of these days, I will have to reassess that list, because that is wrong. It is now, that he is gone, that I realize how integral he was to the survival of what is left of rock and roll. Without Tom Petty, popular music would only be urban hip hop top 40. [FACT CHECK: It is.]
It seems no matter who you ask, regardless of age, sex, religion, color, and politics, they like Tom Petty, they really like Tom Petty. I can’t think of any other artist who holds this sort of power. [FACT CHECK: My parents don’t know Tom Petty from Tom Cochrane from Tom Tom Club. It is all noise to them.]
My first exposure to Tom Petty was his appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1979, where he performed “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “Refugee”. He reeked of rock and roll in a time where new wave and punk was the flavor of the day. I would never have imagined that he’d go on to record “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, or the stripped down sincere and humble, “Southern Accents”, or go on to be a huge star on the MTV, or become a member of supergroup Traveling Wilburys, or be a recurring voice on a cartoon (Lucky on King Of The Hill) or die at the age of 66. In this modern age of science, 66 is the new middle age, especially for a rich white man.
He seemed like a good unpretentious egg dude. The sort of guy who recognized his celebrity status, yet still chose to rock. The guy who made millions and never acting like a jackass blowhard. Tom Petty represented Americana without preaching a political agenda. In my book, that defines a pretty cool guy. Bono and Springsteen could learn a thing or two from him.
Tom Petty Theft
frivolous robbery with mass public approval
synonyms: protective white lie, Trump Tower™ arson, Cosby bashing
“If Robin Hood was alive today, he’d be the king of Tom Petty Theft.”
“In North Korea, there is no such thing as Tom Petty Theft, all theft is equal and punishable by death.”