Tom Petty would have turned 70

“I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down”

tompettyI was playing the Favorite songs of favorite artists by J. Eric Smith meme when I came to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2009-2013). Then I realized what would have been Tom’s 70th birthday was coming up.

My renewed appreciation for Petty and Heartbreakers started with Johnny Cash. The band played on JRC’s second American Recording, unchained (1996). Cash sang Petty’s Southern Accents on it. I thought it was a great collection and that the album would be a big crossover hit. Unchained got to about #170 pop, but did better on the country charts.

Petty also sang harmony and played organ on I Won’t Back Down, written by Petty and Jeff Lynne on the Solitary Man album. Tom sang harmony on that title tune, and also on the Merle Haggard song The Running Kind from the Unearthed collection.

Then in June 2007, the two Traveling Wilburys albums, with bonus tracks, were released. I had purchased the originals back in the late 1980s, but someone gave me the reissues. At some point, I had purchased the 1995 box set. I realized anew what truths were contained in the titles. Even the losers DO get lucky sometimes. The waiting IS the hardest part.

20 songs

American Girl – I had a boss who called this American Squirrel. I do not know why.
Gator on the Lawn – this was on the box set
Honey Bee – from the second “solo” album. I like songs about the subject. Diana Ross and the Supremes had a song with the same title.
Even the Losers
Christmas All Over Again – one of the best contemporary – i.e., recorded in the past 50 years – holiday tunes

Don’t Come Around Here No More – a very creepy video
Don’t Do Me Like That
It’s Good To Be King – on the second purported solo album
You Wreck Me – ditto
You Don’t Know How It Feels – ditto

Into the Great Wide Open – “a rebel without a clue”
Walls (Circus)
Refugee
The Waiting
Change the Locks – a Lucinda Williams song from the She’s The One soundtrack

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty; this shows up on several Heartbreakers collections
@$$4013 – a Beck Hansen song from she’s The One
Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty “solo”
End Of The Line – The Traveling Wilburys
I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty “solo”

Tom Petty’s Biographer on the Story He Didn’t Tell A year after Petty’s death: author Warren Zanes shares a tale of loss, memory, and the search for the perfect cup of coffee

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “Tom Petty would have turned 70”

  1. I really do need to gain some more familiarity with TP’s catalog. He was one of those artists where I pretty much liked everything I ever heard by him, on the radio, or in a movie, or while shopping, or wherever, but I never took the initiative to dig deeper and own more of his records beyond the ’70s ones . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.