It’s hard to put into words sometimes how something makes you feel or why something is enjoyable to you…even for those of us who speak and write for a living. When I heard the news about Tom Petty last night, I knew that this morning’s shred was going to be about him, and I was laying in bed last night thinking about what I wanted to say about the guy…so here goes, just some straight shootin’ thoughts. Tom’s music was simple, based on the rock n roll that we all grew up on, with a little attitude, a little wit, and a dash of Byrdsian guitar laid on top. He came across as a gentle soul, but he had a sign above his home studio space that said, “BEWARE: CRANKY HIPPIE”. If you don’t believe that, check out Tom ripping a new you-know-what out of a record label rep in the documentary about the Heartbreakers. It seemed perfect for a guy like Petty to gravitate to, and later work with, guys like Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and Bob Dylan…the Traveling Wilburys were an awesome supergroup, even if people didn’t know why the heck Jeff Lynne was in it…and ya gotta love a guy who has the testicular fortitude to do a whole album that totally craps on the music industry, concert business, prefabricated pop music, and bland radio…and force his label to release it. Thanks for the music and the memories, Tom…Heaven’s incredible rock band just got another phenomenal talent.
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