Missing Tom Petty

tom

They retracted the news that Tom Petty had passed away! How surreal. While his family was coming to grips with their husband/father/brother/grandfather’s mortality, people were celebrating his music. TP was blaring out of car windows every where, celebrating a legacy - even he though wasn’t gone – yet. I’m sure there were some big meetings in the national media-rooms this morning about how they got it so wrong, but no matter. We lost a great one yesterday. Tom Petty went suddenly and too early at 66.

 

As so often happens at times like this, you forget how many great songs Tom Petty recorded.

Breakdown; American Girl; Refugee; The Waiting; Free Falling; Mary Jane’s Last Dance … that's just the start....

For me, it starts with “Even The Losers”, cus as teenager, I was anything but cool – but Tom Petty made me feel like I had a chance:

 

Even the losers

Keep a little bit of pride; They get lucky sometimes

 

Even though Petty had a long string of radio & video hits and sold millions, he remained an outsider. He was authentic. He did things on his own terms. It would get him in trouble some times. There was substance abuse, band issues, legendary record company rows, divorce, tantrums. When I saw Petty in concert this summer in Toronto on his 40th Anniversary tour, I realized that he was a survivor and that his songs still had something to say.

My most-lasting memory of Tom Petty will be his performance on the 9/11 tribute tv show. While many performers were still in shock  and sang sad songs, Tom Petty looked into the camera and was defiant: "No, I'll stand my ground; Won't be turned around; And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down; Gonna stand my ground. I won't back down!"  How can you not take strength from that.

 

I’m very sad today because he's gone. I grew up on those records, had a big date and took my girlfriend to a Tom Petty concert and (the cruelist thing) I JUST saw him. It's way-too soon. He’s got a big spot in the playlist that’s always playing in my heart.

Its good that there’s a truckload of great songs to rediscover. If you don’t understand much about all this Petty heartbreak - or just want to see another great rock doc, spend an afternoon and watch the documentary of his great story and songs on Netflix: