I know, a little late (see post above).
I can say I was a fan of Tom Petty’s music. I cannot say I was an active fan… until now.
What do I mean when I say I wasn’t an active fan? Well, it didn’t strike me until after he died. I was talking about it with my wife and it occured to me that I had never even bought a Tom Petty album. The man never made a dime off me in record sales. Although he did indirectly throughout the years via radio and television (in the form of MTV in the 80’s).
And that is the point I make here. It never occured to me to buy a Tom Petty album. Tom Petty was everywhere. And, given my age, Tom Petty was always there – from the beginning. He was ubiquitous. When I was growing up, you didn’t go through an hour on your local rock station, and certainly never two, without a Tom Petty song. And this wasn’t a man with a hit album with a few songs we were stuck listening to over and over for decade after decade. This was a man (and the Heartbreakers, of course) that scored over and over and over. And in the 80’s he was on MTV in constant rotation.
His 1993 Greatest Hits album is not only 18 tracks long and contains all actual hits (most “greatest hits” albums are mostly filler) it doesn’t even contain all his hits. Missing is Jammin’ Me, Yer so Bad, Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (with Stevie Nicks) A Woman in Love and several others.
I went back (because those stations don’t exist anymore even though I still hear some of his songs in the bar still…) and listened again to some of his early songs. I was struck by how good these songs are. A lot of them are about things that people actually care about like a man’s girl as in Here Comes My Girl. Man, if you don’t like that song, we haven’t music to discuss together. Breakdown is another good one. One of my favorites is the song that was an MTV staple You Got Lucky.
And his original band Mudcrutch was pretty good too! That is a name twenty years ahead of its time, sounds like it should have come out of Seattle in 1991.
Anyway, I felt bad about his passing. I feel as if I treated the man like a comfy couch I never really looked at but enjoyed. I’m actively listening now.
Rest in Peace and God bless.