I have known my entire life that I’m a late bloomer when it comes to music. Some of my now-favorite stuff is music that I shunned as a kid and some into adulthood. I don’t know if it’s just stubbornness or if there is some kind of mental illness I have or if I’m just a plain-ol’-dumbarse. I think it’s a combination of all of that, really. But, this week, and really the last few months, have shown me how ignorant I am about that area I talk about being such a fan of, music.
Inner sleeve of Damn the Torpedoes ©Backstreet Records/MCA Records
Again, a lot of it I will contribute to non-access, especially the hard rock stuff because it just wasn’t accessible to me. I had no way of knowing. But, some stuff… I was right in the path of and skirted around it. Tom Petty was one of those. I am so ashamed at my comments about him when I was younger. You see, I used to say that Tom Petty was proof that you didn’t have to have talent to make it. Now, before you go off and virtually slap the ever-loving bejeezus out of me, don’t worry, I have done it to my own self and it was hard and painful.
I don’t know why I didn’t like him. I don’t know why I didn’t hear the genius in his songs. I. Just. Don’t. Know. Why. Is his voice the greatest? No. But, like his pal Bob Dylan, when he sings his tunes you get the full emotion from it, regardless of the smoothness of his voice. But, even that, over time, I came to really enjoy his singing voice. He could really belt it, sometimes strained, but it always sounded like it was supposed to be that way. “Here Comes My Girl” is what I always think of when I think about that aspect.
As much as the local classic rock radio got on my nerves (when I listened to terrestrial radio), it did start turning my views a little. Then I got a greatest hits album and realized that, man, I do enjoy this stuff. Full Moon Fever hit and it was the final straw. This is good stuff. But, again, I wouldn’t admit it until much, much later. Now, I really enjoy listening to Tom Petty. I will say, though, once you’re outside of the hits, playing Petty as a musician, gets kind of boring. But, these songs are not written for musicians, they’re written to be enjoyed by music fans. Boring or no, they make for great listening. I have played a few of his songs with Threadbare Trio, Clay and Neal.
Tom passed away, then didn’t, then did yesterday/last night. We may still get some new music from him but it won’t be the same. We won’t get to watch videos or new live vids on YouTube. The good news is, we have his back catalog to keep us company, including his Traveling Wilburys stuff. I’m going to miss Tom as I’ve already played Damn the Torpedoes and Full Moon Fever on vinyl and will now have to start collecting his other stuff on vinyl. Rest in peace, Tom. You’re now “into the great wide open…” wherever/whatever that may be.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Some days are diamonds. Some days are rocks. Some doors are open. Some roads are blocked. Sundowns are golden then fade away. But if I never do nothing, I’ll get you back some day. ‘Cause you got a heart so big it could crush this town. And, I can’t hold out forever. Even walls fall down.” – “Walls (Circus)” (Petty)