08 January, 2011

Have I Bothered You About Tom Petty Yet?


If I haven't had a sincere conversation about Tom Petty and/or the Heartbreakers yet, then we're probably fresh friends, because Tom Petty is a massive part of my emotional life. There isn't a step in one direction or the other that isn't informed by Wildflowers or Full Moon Fever or even Highway Companion. It's an important part of my life.

It matters to me-- and I'd like to think it should matter to you-- because Tom Petty (and the Heartbreakers) are some of the most sincere musicians alive. They're talented and they mean it. There's not theatricality or postering with any of them. They want to make good songs. They want to make good rock songs. They want to make song that will hit you in the low parts and nurse you to full strength until the dawn and then disappear with the morning's mist. I love Joy Division and the Rolling Stones and Iggy Pop and Johnny Cash (which Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed back up on some of his best albums), but I don't know that any band hits me emotionally like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers do.

There's no bullshit with them.

Side Note: I'm drunk, and I've gone on about them before and I'll go on about them again, but it comes from a place in my heart, a well meaning place, that wants people to listen to good music, music that somehow cares about the people listening to it.

Tom Petty is a person who gives a fuck about the people listening to it. I love a lot of other bands, but I don't know that anyone else I love tonally would talk you down from a suicide. I'd like to believe that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are that person or, if failing that, The Traveling Wilburys.