On 03 Oct 2017, Marcus > wrote in
I remember when he and the band became popular in the late 1970s.
It was so refreshing to hear a guitar band singing harmonies
again. They reminded me of so many Sixties bands, especially the
Byrds and Beatles.
I was record shopping yesterday afternoon in Long Beach, California,
and they were playing Tom Petty's "Pack Up the Plantation" live album
on the sound system and I was really digging it. I have that album
(it's the only Petty album I own) and I've always like it but haven't
listened to it for a long time. Ironically, one of the things I was
looking for was a recent live album of Petty's called "Kiss My Amps" -
it was originally released on vinyl, but I was hoping it has had a CD
release (it hasn't). Anyway, at the checkout there was a little display
that said "RIP Tom Petty". I rolled my eyes thinking it was some bit of
snotty record store guy irony to indicate that the Petty wasn't hip
enough. I said to the clerk, "That's kind of a sick joke, don't you
think? Or is it??" and he say, "It's no joke, Tom Petty's dead." We
went on to have a short but nice and sincere talk about how we both
like the music and what a shock it was. At that point we discovered
that Petty was still clinging to life but was obviously not coming
I was reminded that the first Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album was
at the time one of my favorite driving-around-with-the-windows-down-
and-the-stereo-cranked-up tapes. I got so much pleasure out of that
album and I have such warm feelings associated with it. I've liked
pretty much all his radio hits. I never avoided buying his albums, it
just didn't seem all that necessary, he was so ubiquitous on the radio.
I recently saw a long documentary about him and the band that got me
started thinking about him again and looking to fill in that hole in my
record collection. But there seemed to be no urgency needed...
He seemed to be a nice guy and level headed, and not somebody who lived
carelessly. He seemed to be reasonably healthy. His passing was a great
shock to me.
Thank you, Nil, for your memories on Tom. I know a lot of people didn't care for it, but I loved "The Last DJ" album. The music was great and the issue was one I identified with. Hearing it come from a well-known artist made it all the more valid.