What a week. So much tragedy from the USA. Then the sad news of Tom Petty passing away at 66 from cardiac arrest. Tom Petty was one of my all time favorite rock singer/guitarists while growing up. I know many music greats have passed on over the last few years, but it is the one whose songs you listened to regularly that make it feel kind of personal. That is what great art does I guess. Gets into your soul a little.
One of the Best from the Start
I must admit that the eighties was filled with silly music even if we loved it at the time. Much of it fades away with a smile, but the great music never did. Tom Petty was one of those guys who stood out for millions as a timeless musician. Although Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers started out in 1976 I only came to notice their music in the eighties. He was famous by then of course also as a solo artist.
It was his 1985 album, Southern Accents, that made an impression on me. What with the crazy music video for the song Don't Come Around Here No More featuring Tom as the Mad Hatter. Remember that one? Very cool. Then 1989 saw the release of Full Moon Fever which was packed with famous hits like Free Fallin and I Won't Back Down.
And of course Learning to Fly. Aren't we all?
The Travelling Wiblburys
In 1988 Tom was founder of the super-group called The Travelling Wilburys. With guys like Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynn and Roy Orbison what else can you expect but magic music. Guest appearances by Ringo Starr on drums too. Come on!
A few other stand out songs for me was Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks getting together for a few performances including the the song Stop Dragging My Heart Around.
Enjoy the Music
Tom Petty had a long and prolific career over the past forty years and we can be grateful for the work he has left for us to enjoy. What counts too is that he remained true to his music. Never resorted to excess to promote himself. He comes across as the introverted rock star, if that makes any sense. I think that helped him survive the insane world of music stardom.
So put on your favorite Tom Petty songs, sit back and remember those good times.
Never back down.