Ode to Tom Petty


It’s been a crappy week. Monday could not have started out any worse, waking up  to learn of the horror that occurred in Las Vegas. It kind of felt like the world was pushing me around. You would think in light of the loss of so many lives and so many  injured, learning that evening that Tom Petty died, of natural causes, would not be such a blow. But it was. To me anyway. So many reminders on Monday that we all have just one life.

TompettyThe first album I ever bought was Damn the Torpedoes. I bought it at Peaches record store in Cleveland, Ohio. I was maybe 10? peaches21Fifth grade if I recall correctly. I memorized every word to every song and became a life long fan. In Jr. High School I wanted to go see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on tour. My Mom said no, so I spent the night at friend’s house and went to the concert anyway.

Obviously there have been many, many musicians that I have loved and who have impacted the world through their music, but Tom Petty impacted me personally. Buying that album was a right of passage. Until this week, I had completely forgotten about sneaking to that first concert.

I think everyone can be transported to certain time in their life by music. It truly shapes our lives. Thanks to my Mom, I love 70’s music — Carole King and Carly Simon and the Bee Gees (sorry, not sorry). I think classic rock is where my true north is, in large part due to Tom Petty. But, being an “80’s chick” I also loved everything from Madonna to Pat Benatar and most things in between. Sometime in the 90’s, Vince Gill turned me into a country music fan. My ipod holds everything from Billie Holiday to Janis Joplin. ELO to Kid Rock and I couldn’t pick a favorite – it depends on my mood, my surroundings, what I’m doing, etc. etc. etc. Side note: I feel the same way about wine.

My husband and I were listening to Tom Petty in the car recently and I said something to the effect of how amazing Tom Petty is because really his voice is not what people would think of as classically great right? This sounds like a disparagement but our discussion was the complete opposite. He was one of a kind. No one will ever sound like Tom Petty.  He made an impact on the world through his musical genius and transcended all genres.

Tom Petty’s death has had an impact that I would not have guessed it would have and I can’t really explain why. I was listening to a radio station pay tribute to him on Tuesday and someone had posted on the station’s Facebook page that she walked down the aisle at her wedding to Here Comes My Girl. That gave me goose bumps. Plus, that is just so bad ass.

So, I felt the need to share these thoughts. I think sometime soon, maybe this weekend. I will have my own little tribute to Tom Petty where I listen to every song he ever made. I think it will also involve a sip of wine.  I’m not sure which wine yet, but its going to be a good one.

I’m going to leave you with Johnny Cash covering I Won’t Back Down. I just discovered this a few months ago. I had never heard it before and I felt like I had just discovered some sort of treasure. I think it’s a fitting tribute. I hope you enjoy.




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