It seems like Tom Petty was always around. It didn't matter where you were or what you were doing, Tom Petty was somewhere close by.
That's how I always thought about him. He was never one of my go-to musicians but more as background music. If I heard one of his songs on the radio, I wouldn't change the station; I'd most likely turn it up loud and probably sing along. I was looking at his discography and realized I owned a few of his albums. Yesterday I looked at my Ipod and noticed that "Damn The Torpedoes" was on it. Some pretty good tunes on that one...."Refugee", "Even the Losers", "Louisiana Rain"...wow I really liked that last one. It's been so long since I've heard this record I didn't remember it was on the Ipod. Maybe I'll listen to it today.
Yeah, but I wasn't a big Tom Petty fan.
I've seen it mentioned that Tom and his music was the one of soundtracks of their lives. I never thought of him on those terms. I had other musicians....other bands.
Sure, I remember taking my youngest brother to his first concert to see Tom at Poplar Creek. That was in June 1980 (amazing what you can Google) but what I remember from that show was the opening act was Tommy Tutone...yanno the Jenny 867-5309 guy and that the traffic coming and going was horrendous.
Sure, I remember watching one of my favorite movies "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and hearing "American Girl" in one of the opening scenes. A few years later, the same song was used in "Silence of the Lambs", another of my favorite movies.
Sure, I remember when Tom joined the Traveling Wilburys. Dylan, Orbison, Lynne and my main man George Harrison made one of the best albums of it's time. And yeah, I remember when Tom sang a few songs at the tribute concert to Harrison, a year after his death.
Yep, I remember all that and more but I really wasn't a big fan.
Earlier this year, word came that he was going on tour again. It was the 40th anniversary of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. WOW! These guys have really been around for forty years? The opening act for this tour is Joe Walsh. WOW again. I'm really excited about this because I love Joe and have always wanted to see him play solo and not as part of the Eagles. They come to Chicago and Joe is not doing that show. Damn, damn, damn. Well I guess I'm going anyway because I can sit outside the park and listen for free.
It's a rainy night in June. I'm sitting at a Starbucks outside of Wrigley Field trying to keep dry. You can hear the music and the crowd is going crazy. They know all the songs from the opening notes. I do, too. They know all the words. I do, too.
They played nineteen songs that night. It was a great concert. The Heartbreakers are great musicians. Mike Campbell is one of the most underrated guitarist in the music world. The final song was "American Girl". It's my favorite Tom Petty tune. I was singing along...and I don't do that at concerts.
Tom Petty died unexpectedly yesterday. Sadly, it took his death to remember all these events.
Sadly, it took his death to realize I was a big fan.
Related Post: Is singing along at a Tom Petty concert annoying
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