Posts Tagged ‘Tom Petty’

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.

From goldduststevie.tumblr.com

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.

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:

Obit

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

Dylan, Lynne, Petty, Orbison, Harrison

Dylan, Lynne, Petty, Orbison, Harrison

Everything about the creation of the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, I love. From the website comes a story I already knew.

George Harrison was asked by the folks at Warner Brothers Records to put together a non-album B-side for a single from the ex-Beatles’ album Cloud Nine.

Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison had shared dinner, then went to Bob Dylan’s home studio in Malibu, California. George had left a guitar at Tom Petty’s house, and when he went to retrieve it, he invited Petty to join in the fun.

Harrison played the resulting track, Handle with Care, to the WB brass, who thought the song was too good to bury on the flip side of George’s single. Maybe it could become part of an album?

The five frontmen took on the persona of the Traveling Wilburys from this: Read the rest of this entry »

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