Sunday, October 8, 2017

In Memoriam: Tom Petty 1950-2017



“Music is probably the one real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.”





Petty grew up in Gainesville, in Northern Florida






"That's what kicked off my love of music. And I'd never thought much about rock 'n' roll until that moment." What  kicked off Petty's love of music? And who the hell is the hotshot with the shades? Read on.




Petty had an uncle who owned a film developing business. When the above motion picture was being shot in the nearby town of Ocala, that uncle got a job on the set, and invited his 11-year old nephew to meet the film's star (incidentally, I've seen this movie, and while it's no classic, it's a cut above the average Presley flick.)




Petty seems to have had several bands in the early '70s, the most notable of which was Mudcrutch. That's lead guitarist Mike Campbell to Petty's left...




...an association that would outlive the band after its one and only single failed to chart.




Undaunted, Petty and Campbell, along with bassist Ron Blair, drummer Stan Lynch and keyboardist Benmont Tench formed a new band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Petty sung lead, and also played the guitar.





The band's first single "Breakdown" was a Top 40 hit in 1976.


In 1979, the band released their third album Damn the Torpedoes, which quickly went platinum, and made it all the way to #2  on Billboard's album chart (Pink Floyd's monster hit album, The Wall, was  #1) It's kind of forgotten now, but at the time the Heartbreakers were thought to be a "new wave" band with a southern-tinged punk sound. Later on in the 1980s, the band was lumped with such "heartland rock" acts as Bruce Springsteen, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Bob Segar, though Petty felt he was a bit different from them, believing his band to be a bit more idiosyncratic, and so he was. The sound, probably due to Petty's wonderfully nasal singing style, was unique and always instantly identifiable.


"Refugee" 



"Here Comes My Girl"



"Don't Do Me Like That"



"The Waiting" from the 1981 album Hard Promises.





In 1986 Petty and another wonderfully nasal-voiced singer went on tour together. The Heartbreakers played backup for Dylan, probably his best backup band since...



...these guys.





In addition to touring together, Dylan and Petty were members, along with George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne of the short-lived but fondly-remembered supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.





With all this going on, Petty also found time for a solo album (produced by Campbell), which yielded several more classics.



"I Won't Back Down"



"Free Fallin"



Petty also did a bit of acting. He voiced Luann's no-good boyfriend (and later no-good husband) Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt on King of the Hill (note what the show's patriarch Hank is holding in his hands--it was literally a shotgun wedding!)



From rags to riches.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Petty made his fortune through his music.






  

Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/tom_petty
Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/tom_petty

7 comments:

  1. I read somewhere that his songs have a"hint" of the sadness that he lived through as a young man with his dad.
    Like his music so much. I was shocked by his death.

    cheers, parsnip

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  2. I've seen Petty in a number of interviews over the years, parsnip, and seemed like a very nice guy.

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  3. Well, I didn't know that Tom Petty voiced Elroy on "King of the Hill." I loved that show and yes, Elroy was a real piece of work!

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    1. King of the Hill had some great voices on it, Debra.

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  4. So, where is recognition that someone in the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE of this planet had any influence ???

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  5. You mean on my blog? It revolves around my interests, Davos, and that doesn't always lend itself to, uh, equal representation or whatever it is you're complaining about.

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