R.I.P. Tom Petty

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.


Cool Video/Song, Music Stuff, Misc, Etc – Post of Personal Opinions

Been on a music thing of late.

I have always been an avid, though picky, music lover. With the exception of non-Western (mostly, it depends), reggae, and rap/hip-hop (and 99.9999% of all current popular music) I have pretty wide tastes. From classical to opera, blues, rock, jazz, country (old country not that modern crap that is light rock sung with a southern twang) bluegrass, show tunes, (some) metal, funk, soul, R&B (the real R&B, not the modern bastardization) and probably some stuff I can’t think of right now. I can listen to Louie Armstrong and Gordon Lightfoot in the same hour and be happy for days after!

As for Gordon Lightfoot: how many times can I listen to The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald or If You Could Read My Mind before I get sick of it? Going on almost 40 years now, I’ll let you know.

Thing is, within each genre I probably like 5% of its output. The exception would be classical and blues. Of rock, my appreciation goes down as we approach current time to where I have taken my toys and gone home now.

Years ago there was this good bluegrass band, Hayseed Dixie, that came out with an album of AC/DC covers. I remember remarking jokingly to a friend of mine that it was a little embarrassing as a DC fan how easily their songs lent to a bluegrass interpretation. Check out their cover of You Shook Me All Night Long here for a sample. Although the singer is being almost mockingly hillbilly with the verse, the harmonies in the chorus are very good; the original song lends itself nicely to country anyway given its major chords and progression. Also you would think the lyrics to Back in Black were written by a hillbilly if you have only heard their rendition. That also has a good alternate chorus, and the ending mantra on the outro is hilarious.

Found today one of their songs, (Thunderstruck – if you’ve seen any sports over the last 20+ years, you’ve heard this song) lends itself to cello here. The cover is not recognizable till around the 1:20 mark.

I like that kind of cover. Never liked covers that sound like they are just attempting to duplicate the song. Live it’s alright, that’s expected (although there is no absolute reason to do it then either). And I detest the “metalization” of songs where they take a perfectly good song and gnash over-distorted guitars over it and scream bloody murder – ach, what ache.

Probably the best cover I have ever heard was the song, originally done by the Everly Brothers, Love Hurts, and Continue reading “Cool Video/Song, Music Stuff, Misc, Etc – Post of Personal Opinions”