Lew's Take #1 Free Fallin'
It was a documentary called "Running Down a Dream". My buddy Ben and I had to watch it in 2 sittings it was so long. We'd talk about it after we watched it.
"I can't believe how easy he makes it look! He just drove from Gainesville, FL to Los Angeles, got a record deal, recorded American Girl and the rest is history!"
That same Summer we started a band. We wrote some sh--tty songs and played a few sh--ty gigs. So we weren't Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers but we had a lot of fun. I still write songs to this day, still play guitar, and still want to be a rockstar.
We thought Tom Petty made it look easy and we were wrong AND right. These weren't complex Tool or Rush songs (with respect). Some of these songs only had 3 chords. So by definition they were "easy" songs. Songs that make a young kid pick up a guitar and think to themselves 'maybe I can do this.'
The flipside to that...sometimes you're driving home, all kinds of things on your mind, the good and the bad...and you hear those first opening chords to Free Fallin' on the radio...for some reason you hear the song like you've never heard it before.
I'm gonna free fall out into nothin'
Gonna leave this world for awhile
And just like the character in the song, the listener leaves this world for a while, for 4 minutes and 14 seconds to be exact.THIS from a songwriter's perspective is where Tom Petty didn't make it look easy. How the f--- can anyone write a song this magical? Let alone as many as he did in his career. Writing songs that relate to people...people all over the world. Songs that make people feel good.