Perhaps the wait is almost over

Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere

waitOne of my sisters sent me this clip of a song called Wait for the Lord. It’s in the Taizé style, which is to say that the message is repeated. One can become impatient with that, but I think that repetition is its power.

Wait for the Lord
Whose day is near
Wait for the Lord
Keep watch, take heart

And it’s sometimes an impatient wait. O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Tarja.

One of the lesser-known Beatles songs, from Rubber Soul, is Wait.

It’s been a long time
Now I’m coming back home
I’ve been away now
Oh how I’ve been alone
Wait ’til I come back to your side
We’ll forget the tears we’ve cried

Perhaps the best cover version of a Rolling Stones song is I Am Waiting by Ollabelle. The group features Amy Helm, the daughter of the late vocalist of the Band, Levon Helm.

You can’t hold out, you can’t hold out, oh yeah, oh yeah
Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere
Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere
See it come along, don’t know where it’s from
Oh, yes, you will find out
Happens all the time, censored from our mind
You’ll find out.

Norah Jones sang Christmas Don’t Be Late on CBS Saturday Morning recently. Not much like Simon, Theodore, Alvin, and Dave Seville.

Tommy Pett

And of course, The Waiting by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers:

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart

This, not incidentally, is the first song on Unconventional Advent (A Think Christian playlist) on Spotify.

I’ve said it before. I do think the waiting IS the hardest part.

It might be waiting for Christmas: the presents, the festivities, family gatherings. Or it may be that you’re waiting for it to be over: the pain, the sense of loss, family gatherings.

Perhaps it’s the end of 2021, which might have been better than 2020, but not as good as you had hoped.

Here’s hoping that what you are waiting for, whatever that might be, comes your way.

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)
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

Tom Petty: the End of the Line

According to his wife, Dana, Tom Petty endured the pain of a fractured hip throughout a 40th-anniversary tour with his longtime band, the Heartbreakers.

pettyUsually, music brings me joy. But sometimes it feeds into my melancholy. As I was reading about how Tom Petty’s death is still a hard reminder for aging rockers about the downside of life on the road, I was reminded of that phenomenon.

Back in 2015, he acknowledged that he was a heroin addict in the ’90s, “something he had sliced out of Peter Bogdanovich’s four-hour documentary, 2007’s ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream.'”

How does a 50-year-old become a junkie? He talked about it to Warren Zanes in a biography, unauthorized only because Petty didn’t want to dictate what Zanes could or could not write

Addiction happened “when the pain becomes too much and you live in a world, in a culture, where people have reached in the direction of heroin to stop the pain. He’s a rock and roller. He had had encounters with people who did heroin, and he hit a point in his life when he did not know what to do with the pain he was feeling.”

Then in 2017, “Tom Petty was rushed to a hospital… in full cardiac arrest… Weeks later, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s report confirmed what many family members, friends and fans feared: Petty had accidentally overdosed.

“Among the combination of sedatives, anti-depressants and painkillers found in Petty’s system was the opioid fentanyl, the same drug on which Prince overdosed in 2016. According to his wife, Dana, Petty endured the pain of a fractured hip throughout a 40th-anniversary tour with his longtime band, the Heartbreakers.”

Here are three songs:

Gainesville, a new song with the Heartbreakers about his hometown area, about which he had mixed feelings.

Free Fallin’, the first song on my favorite Tom Petty album, the “solo” disc Full Moon Fever (1989)

Possibly my favorite. The End of the Line. I love the “happy accident” that was the Traveling Wilburys. On this track, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, and Roy Orbison sing the choruses, and Petty sings the verses. In the video, Roy is recently deceased, as only his framed picture in a rocking chair appears. George, of course, died in 2001. With Petty gone, the song makes me wistful.

Stevie Nicks turns 70 May 26

“Back when she and Buckingham were just another struggling pair of hungry songwriters in San Francisco, Nicks used to visit a downtown store called the Velvet Underground.”

When the tease for Fleetwood Mac appearing on CBS This Morning aired on April 25, with Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, but NO Lindsey Buckingham, I had to record it and watch it that evening.

Fleetwood said that Buckingham “would not sign off on a new tour they’d been planning for a year and a half.” Nicks, who joined the band with Buckingham in January 1975, agreed with the decision.

She said, “This team wanted to get out on the road. And one of the members did not want to get out on the road for a year. We just couldn’t agree. And you know, when you’re in a band, it’s a team. I mean I have a solo career, and I love my solo career, and I’m the boss. Absolutely. But I’m not the boss in this band.”

The band is replacing Buckingham with two performers, Neil Finn of Crowded House and former member of the Heartbreakers Mike Campbell, who was recruited as lead guitarist a few months after Tom Petty’s death.

The revised Fleetwood Mac is touring starting in October, and they’re coming to Albany on March 20, 2019. Will I go? Peut être.

Listen to all (by Fleetwood Mac unless otherwise indicated):

Rhiannon (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975), #11 in 1976 – inspired by a book she read, Nicks made the protagonist into what she thought was an old Welsh witch

Landslide (from Fleetwood Mac)

I Don’t Want to Know (from -Fleetwood Mac) – one of her compositions written before she joined the group

Dreams (from Rumours), #1 in 1977 – “Nicks’ mystical assessment of her dying relationship with Buckingham”

Gold Dust Woman (from Rumours)

Sara (from Tusk, 1979), #7 in 1980 – she had a relationship with Don Henley of the Eagles

Storms (from Tusk) – “Nicks’ lament for her brief, messy affair with Fleetwood.”

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, #3 for six weeks in 1981. Nicks, Campbell and Petty co-wrote this. From her #1 solo album Bella Donna.

Leather and Lace – Stevie Nicks and Don Henley, #6 in 1982

Gypsy (from Mirage, 1982), #12 in 1982 – “Back when she and Buckingham were just another struggling pair of hungry songwriters in San Francisco, Nicks used to visit a downtown store called the Velvet Underground, where Janis Joplin and Grace Slick shopped, and fantasize about being able to afford the clothes.”

Seven Wonders (from Tango in the Night, 1987), #19 in 1987

Silver Springs (from The Dance, 1997) – “Nicks intended this simmering requiem for her romance with Buckingham to be her crowning moment on Rumours… But the song (which originally ran almost 10 minutes) was too long to fit on the finished LP and was dropped.” A shorter version does appear as the B-side of Go Your Own Way in 1977.

Tom Petty: supposed to have been so much more

Why the Loss of Tom Petty Feels So Deeply Personal

In the spring of 1995, a friend of mine working with a band fronted by Pete Droge, who was opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They came to Albany to play at the Knickerbocker Arena.

After their set, my exhausted friend left, and so did I, hearing only the first couple songs of the Petty concert. But I figured I’d see him and the Heartbreakers again someday, which proved to be incorrect.

Petty was very popular at FantaCo in the 1980s. My boss Tom had this weird affection of changing the lyrics of the songs from Girl to Squirrel. American Squirrel, Here Comes My Squirrel. It was weird but sort of funny.

I talways thought that the Traveling Wilburys Vol 2 was the collective albums that the artists put out between Vol. 1 and Vol. 3. This would, of course, include Tom Petty’s first “solo” album Full Moon Fever, which featured Free Fallin’ and I Won’t Back Down.

The latter song seemed to be Petty’s mantra, such as fighting with his record company over its failed attempt to raise the price of one of his album. I remember an urgent version at that TV concert after 9/11.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers backed Johnny Cash on his second American Recordings album, Unchained (1996). It won a country album Grammy, but I foolishly thought it would be a big crossover hit. It only got up to #170, and lasted a mere two weeks. Tells you what I know.

Someone was mourning the death of Tom Petty on Facebook, and some jerk said that if you didn’t mourn the folks killed and wounded in Las Vegas, to which someone asked, “Can’t you do both?” Be sad about mass murder AND the loss of someone who had provided part of the soundtrack of their lives for the past four decades?

I’m going to wait awhile, maybe October 20, 2020, which would have been his 70th birthday, before I decide my favorite Tom Petty songs. But these are a few that came to mind in the past few days:

Refugee – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Even the Losers – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty

Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

End Of The Line – The Traveling Wilburys

It’s Good To Be King – Tom Petty

You Don’t Know How It Feels – Tom Petty

You Wreck Me – Tom Petty

Walls (Circus) – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (from “America” A Tribute to Heroes”)

Plus Coverville 1188: Tom Petty Tribute

And here are just some of the stories I read:


Tom Petty Was Perhaps Rock’s Greatest Writer of First Lines

Tom Petty Was Rock ’n’ Roll’s Ambassador to the World Even if he would have been the last one to admit it

Remembering Tom Petty’s Quirky Roles in The Postman and King of the Hill

Why the Loss of Tom Petty Feels So Deeply Personal

Tom Petty’s final interview: There was supposed to have been so much more

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