Monday, October 2, 2017

Tom Petty, 1950-2017

I've been told I wear my heart on both sleeves. Sometimes, I just can't help it.

It's been a rough ride these last 18-24 months. I've seen a lot of my musical heroes pass on. Yes, heroes. They came through for me with their music and their art. They were my heroes.

I've seen friendships snap like twigs in the wake of last year's election and I've watched innocent people, hard working Americans, get treated like scum.

I woke up this morning to the news of another mass shooting in our United States. The worst in history.  Our leader sent "warm condolences" to the families of the 58 killed and over 400 assault rifles. 19 rifles.

And then there's Puerto Rico suffering unimaginable loss and devastation. Thankfully, our leader dedicated his golf trophy to those victims.

And what about the everyday bullshit? What about the people you trust, fucking you over? I am sure we all have at least one in our lives. Hell, that'll never change. It's a selfish fucking world and God help you if you've got a heart and soul. Yeah, I'm rambling.

And now, just for shits and giggles, Tom Petty suffers cardiac arrest and that's that. 66 years old. Gone.

Yeah, I may be rambling, but I needed to do something with my hands, otherwise I was going to start throwing things across the room.

Something's gotta give.

33 comments: said...

I know, right?

What a fucking day... week... year... decade...

I don't have words. Except



wool said...

Unbelievable. Tom Petty has always been a constant in my life. Glen Frey was big but Tom Petty is something else.

kevin m said...

Yes, today sucked. Vegas + Petty. Dozens of people attending a concert killed for no reason and one of our best musicians gone way too soon.

Damn the Torpedoes came out when I was 14 and Petty has sound tracked much of my life. I will miss him dearly.

Unknown said...

Could we start this day over.....please?

kodak ghost said...

The trouble is that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In fact we can't find the tunnel.
Tom Petty big in my life. We need a sober retrospective please.

musicyoucan said...

Oh ... it is so sad, Tom Petty is so young. It is unbelievable !!!! He choosen very well the name of one of his famous group, the heartbreakers.
Hopefully i will listen all these albums to have always Tom Petty in mind. RIP Tom

Anonymous said...

sad day all round..hang in there man make us all feel ok

Troy said...

We've lost a lot of musical heroes in the past few years. This one, for me, stings a bit more. Tom Petty was one of my early favorites, and it never let up over the years. Damn the Torpedoes was first for me, followed quickly by backtracking to get on board with the first two albums. From there, I was with him every step of the way. One of my all time favorite shows was the Soundstage performance from the Vic Theater in Chicago. I was so thrilled to be able to be there.

And those albums with the Wilburys? Just as fun as music could be. What a blessing that we were alive and able to enjoy them when they came out.

Damn. This one hurts.

Joelhb53 said...

Growing up and being a teen and young adult in Gainesville FL, we couldn't help but come in contact with the person we referred to as Tommy Petty. His band Mudcrutch was one of several bands playing in town all the time and always put on a great show. Once he moved to California and became famous, we all followed his career with pride as "one of our own." RIP Tom, you represented us well.

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace Mr. Petty. If only we could live in peace.
Thanks for your art, Tom. We're richer for hearing it.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

Rest in Peace were one of the best!

And lets not forget to blame Trump for ALL the ills of this world...can't believe some of you fuckers would yearn for Hilliary...or Bernie.

But let's blame Trump, I'll bet he even had something to do with Orlando..?? or San Diego...or all the hatred of the Police...Hail Colin...hail those courageous NFL ers..who under slavery, get those big checks ....

Get lives..

RIP don't have to listen to the "whiners" anymore.

I just can't wait for Bruce to write a song about'll sell a million.

Chris Collins said...

I'm gutted

Mr. Baez said...

Such terrible news. Just saw him last Monday at the Bowl. So alive and happy.
I'm free falling...

dogbreath said...

Quite a few of us here in the UK picked up on Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers straight from the first album with the jangly guitar of "American Girl" ringing in our ears. That was 40 years ago when I kept the self-titled LP firmly on the turntable & I've been a fan ever since. A sad loss.

Bulletins From Mars Hill said...

It sure is strange times we're living in. Although as an amature historian and a profesional theologan I would suggest that we have always lived in strange times. The difference today is that we get to know about it as it is happening. Here in Ireland I got a news update about Las Vegas as it was unfolding. The down side of this is that we become part of the news. It's as if it is hapeening to us. That lack of time and space for us to process what is happening, causes our bodies to react as if we are there. The other problem with rolling news is there is a need to feed the monster. I got yet another news alert around 10pm my time to say that Tom Petty had died. I was stunned as i have always loved his music and admired him as a person. What made this even more emotional was I was in my parents sitting room with my father and I remembered the night he called me down into that same sitting room to watch the news emerge that Elvis had died. As I watched the 10pm news on the BBC there was no mention of Tom. Then there was No Mention of him on the weighter Newsnight news programe. I checked some online sources, same thing, no news. At 2am I learned that Tom was still alive. At Six I learned he was dead. Back in the day no story would have been filed with two independent sources confirming it. I don't think we're living in strange times so much as we are living in shoddy times.

Anonymous said...

Hi...I'm anonymous...

Tom Petty died...Rest in Peace Tom...That would say it all.

Funny, none of your commenters mentioned Trump..or our leader or made any reference to things gone wrong in the past 8 months and pinned them on him...all implied right?

You barely mentioned Tom for all the bile your spewed in between...

Jesus, grow up.


Racial strife and killings didn't start this year buddy....look to fucking Obama and what he did to the police..and race relations..did those people in Vegas need the police?

Grow up.

Anything Should Happen said...

Great words as ever Sal. I saw your earlier comment about the Facebook effect and agreed with that too. Petty wise, I felt it on an emotional level. One of the too few gigs that I saw with my dad before his death was as a 14 year old and Petty and The Heartbreakers supported Nils Lofgren.

To be honest, I was a bit bored watching Lofgren but Petty lit up my musical life and I've jangled ever since.

I don't want to make this about me, but you also note mortality. I had a completely surprise heart attack last November at 53. It changes the way you look at life, forward rather than back and I know others in similar situations feel the same.

Finally, on your other thoughts. I'd stepped back from the political arguments because I was just so tired of getting angry and dismayed at what is happening both in the US and UK. I realise now that this is the wrong approach. If you stop shouting, everyone thinks you don't care.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't a huge Petty fan but still a fan. Still hurts. In regards to our musical heroes remaining - the coming years will not be fun. Grab onto something and hang on tight. Randy

Anonymous said...

Rest In Peace Tom Petty.

A great anecdote from comedian Lord Carrett’s review of the Sound City Documentary:

Petty tells a story in a Heartbreaker’s documentary that gives a glimpse of his analog mindset, the mindset of someone who refuses to settle. Petty was on the bill for The No Nukes Show, and the last three acts were Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen at the height of his fame. Petty says that Browne came off stage, and told him: “If you go on, and you think they’re booing you, don’t get thrown because they’re really just saying: ‘BRUCE!’” And Petty replied: “What’s the difference?”

Full review here:

Tumblingdice70 said...

Tom Petty is close to making my Mount Rushmore of rock and roll, so this really does hurt. I would highly recommend Warren Zanes' Petty: The Biography, which came out a year or two ago and is one of the best rock biographies I have ever read. Covering everything from Petty's rough childhood through all the internal band triumphs and tough decisions, down to Petty nixing a Mike Campbell solo album because it sounded too much like The Heartbreakers, it's really well done. Petty has been a soundtrack through the years, but his radio hits just tell part of the story. His album Echo, released at a really tough time for him, was a beacon for me as I went through a divorce, and his work has remained consistent and steadfast as a True Believer in Rock, Rhythm and Blues. Rest in Peace Tom, you provided hope in dark times.

Anonymous said...

Tom Petty was one-of-a-kind.

I also give the Warren Zanes biography high marks!

- Stinky

Ken D said...

Last night, in an effort to get away from what had been a sad, disheartening, and bewildering day, I poured myself a scotch and looked on Netflix for a comedy special. I took a chance on Marc Maron's new one, "Too Real."
Right out of the gate, Maron does a few minutes on "people like us as opposed to people who voted for 'him'"—it's obvious from the context who he means. After several witty observations about people who see the world in completely opposite ways, he concludes, "really, the only we agree on is that everyone likes Tom Petty."

Readers of this blog will also appreciate bits about how the Rolling Stones are getting too old to do what they do (yeah, it's okay to skip the encore to beat the traffic...) and the sheer awfulness of the Dave Matthews Band.
Recommended viewing for those in need of some burden relief.

For me, Petty's death—just as he was about to stop touring and focus on recording—is doubly sad because of all the songs he still had inside of him that we'll never hear.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sal for some well stated words that reflected a lot of what I was feeling yesterday, and have been feeling for a long time. I find some solace in the amazing memories I hold close of having witnessed the greatness of artists like Petty, Bowie and countless others live and otherwise. Cherishing those moments and chasing new ones with real live bands -- not auto-tuned automatons -- keeps me going. Don't like the bastards sink you brother.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Words fail.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you might want to give one of your old friends a call and talk about it. We can get go through anything. Just remember that eventually things will begin to get better. Love you pal, Shidoo

cmealha said...

We get thrown a sack of shit every day and it’s wearing. I think the trick is to look around and see what we have and what we are blessed with in the truly wonderful things that happen daily in this world and concentrate on that. I think it goes against our DNA to do that but we need to try.

Zippy said...

hey Sal, thank you for your beautiful, deeply felt and powerful words, summing it up for the rest of us perfectly.
Please don't let the ignorant, anonymous fucktard that answered your piece with TrumpTroll (TM) nonsense drivel (like "grow up") stain the meaning of what you said for the rest of us.
If one truly feels, as you do, as I do, and as seemingly any sane, rational, realistic observer must at this point, that a Russian-compromised, astonishingly financially corrupt, incompetent, racist, power-mad, proudly sexual-assaulting nincompoop has bumbled into the reins of power, then, like under Hitler or Mugabe, or Duterte, or any other attempted tyrant, it is thus MANDATORY, as a thinking , feeling human being, to keep mentioning the dystopian nightmare and its connection to and ubiquitous effect on everything, as well as how the loss of what the country stood for is REFLECTED clearly for the rest of us in the loss of icons of decent human value and artistic worth and virtue like Tom Petty. That your commentor cannot see it, also means that he'll be ignorant of the fact that even Petty would see what you're saying. It's a fair statement that Petty wasn't for anything the Trump Crime Family stands for. To mourn him and mention how the loss of a voice for reason and humanity relates directly to the overall loss of that is not just reasonable, Sal, it's essential. Thank you for tying it together for us in insightful prose.
PS For the record, Godwin himself has rescinded Godwin's Law as it relates to Trump and invites us to break it in the present crisis, as it has exited the realm of hyperbole.

Robin said...

I listened to Damn the Torpedoes over and over, wore out the grooves as we used to say. Tom's songs were like good friends to me. I'm noticing I'm being quite proprietary about Tom since his passing which is selfish I know, especially about American Girl, which was released when I was teen. So many younger girls (and guys too of course) are referencing the song, and a part of me wants to shout, "that's mine, that's me, find another song!". It's just a transient feeling but as much as I love Tom and the Heartbreakers, the strength of my possessiveness has surprised me. Perhaps it was just the horrible day and dark vibe hovering over the country in general.

Of course in actuality I love that his music touched so many over so much time and that I share it with so many people, it's just that he felt so personal to me, or his songs did as I said. What a fabulous songwriter, and king of the opening lyric/line.

Another thing I loved so much about Tom was his love for his musical heroes, his passion for music. Loved that he was a Wilbury with those towering geniuses, loved how he spoke about Del. More than anything, I adored his show on Sirius, Buried Treasure. In many ways he and Dylan are quite kindred (perhaps more than Bruce and Bob) and the show proved this.

All I'll say about politics is that DJT is the first US president I cannot listen to, watch or even respect a shred, and that's painful to this American girl, raised on promises.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sal, thanks so much for your words today and all days. Your blog is exceptional. Tom Petty was a flawed person,like we all are, but he made beautiful music that helped me through life. I feel for all the people mourning his death but take comfort in the fact that his music will live on. I’d really like to understand all the anger & hatred out there, it’s so depressing. We are all brothers & sisters & need to live as such. Anonymous mentioned Jesus, I hope he can find peace in him. Life is not a game of one upmanship. I believe Mr.Petty understood this. Peace to you Sal & all the readers.


Duardo said...

I remember I was at home, sick and I had the radio on. I heard the first strains of "American Girl" and I've been hooked ever since. Caught him twice -- when I was stationed in Miami in'91 and a year later in Germany.


I peruse comment sections at more than a few news sites and this is predominantly the way this gets phrased. Not "We won!", because really, what is there to hang your hat on? It's like going to the carnival and wasting untold amounts of treasure and time at one of those games of "skill". Sure, you walk away with a cheap, useless piece of crap, bet hey, you won, right?

buzzbabyjesus said...

I just watched "Living In The Material World". In an interview Tom hesitates telling what George Harrison said to him on the phone after Roy Orbison's sudden death, "Aren't you glad it wasn't you?".

buzzbabyjesus said...

Dear Brave Anonymous,

I appreciate your effort, as a Troll, to derail the thread, and make it all about you.
Unfortunately, it hasn't worked.

Have a nice day,

Not that anonymous! said...

The Anonymous poster appears to be leaking toxic waste and also clearly needs an anger management course . . . Of course, it wouldn't do the vermin nesting in the Oval Office any harm either!