Showing posts with label Tom Petty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Petty. Show all posts

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 - A Year

If one stops learning, they stop living. I think I learned some things in 2017 -- they may not be profound things, but they are things.

It's difficult to sum up a year, three hundred and sixty-five days, because I frankly would have to think hard to remember what I did yesterday. Time runs together like a gushing stream.

Nevertheless, in no particular order, things I learned:

Don't trust preconceived notions.

Two notable passings touched me this year more than I ever thought they would.

When I was thirteen and beginning to formulate my country music opinions, burying myself in Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard vinyl, I hated (hated!) Glen Campbell. Glen Campbell wasn't rock 'n roll and he sure wasn't country. I didn't know what he was exactly -- kind of Frank Sinatra Lite. Everything any self-respecting music lover hated. Synthesizers that sounded like drunken birds. Icky, simpering melodies (thanks, Jimmy Webb). And that's all the stupid FM disc jockey ever played -- that and an early dysmorphic Willie Nelson. The radio station apparently possessed only two LP's, and the radio spinner made the most of them. No wonder AM radio ruled.

I'm talking about stuff like this:

But a funny thing happened on my trip through the decades:  I learned to love Glen Campbell. Oh, it was gradual. I thought "Rhinestone Cowboy" ranked right up there with "Rose Garden" for its dullness and repetition. I did like "Southern Nights", however. It had a bit more verve than I'd come to expect from Glen. In his Tanya Tucker days, he added some nice touches to her recordings, and, silly as it seemed, I found that I craved that voice.

As happens when we get older and wiser, Glen settled into himself. Sadly, it was Alzheimer's that brought it about. When I learned that Glen had Alzheimer's, a lump caught in my throat. My dad had Alzheimer's, and it's so very sad...and lonely. But that knowledge drew me to Glen, after fifty-odd years of either hating him or ignoring him. 

I'm happy that in 2017 I re-found Glen Campbell. 

The seventies, for me, were kind of a lost decade, musically. I didn't know which way to turn. I was buying Larry Gatlin albums and meanwhile hearing the Bee Gees singing about staying alive. And The Captain and Tennille. Frankly, the seventies sucked in myriad ways.

In the mire, I completely missed Tom Petty.  I honestly had no idea who Tom Petty was until my little sister began raving about an album called, "Full Moon Fever". 

Let me tell you about Tom Petty -- he was AWESOME. 

I watched a documentary about him on Netflix, and I think I am in love.

What a decent, principled man he was. 

And I completely missed him!

No more. Maybe I'm a bit late, but I will forevermore celebrate everything Tom Petty. 

What was life like before Netflix?

I don't like commercials and I don't like, "stayed tuned for scenes from next week's episode". In the prehistoric days, we had to put up with both those things. In the twenty-first century, TV has evolved. And thankfully, because I would have completely missed some awesome TV if it wasn't for Netflix. 

What did I miss?

Number one, the best television show of all time:

Another show I missed:

Mad Men

And exclusive to Netflix:

Stranger Things:

The Crown:

Thanks to DVD, I found:

Downton Abbey
The Sopranos

So, yes, my life consists of TV, essentially.

I did learn a few other lessons in 2017, actually.

If you live long enough, the sadness subsides, and you remember the happy.

My mom and dad have been gone for a long while -- since 2001, to be exact. For a long time I couldn't think about them without feeling melancholy, wistful, regretful. If you are a reader of my blog, you know that throughout my life my relationship with my mother was fraught. If we'd met as strangers, we wouldn't have become friends...although that's possibly untrue. Maybe we would have accepted each other as friends do. As it was, we both expected more of each other than either of us was able to give. It wasn't until late in her life that I recognized the fine qualities she possessed -- hard-fought acceptance, forgiveness. In some ways we were too much alike, but those likenesses were overshadowed by irreconcilable, fundamental differences. I've never once dreamed about my mom, which is puzzling.

I last dreamed about my dad maybe seven years ago. We were in a hotel ballroom where some kind of happy gathering was about to commence. I stood among a group of strangers waiting for Dad to come in. He did, attired in his de rigueur short-sleeved white dress shirt, but as he passed me, he didn't stop. He didn't even acknowledge my presence as he glad-handed all his friends. I don't know what the dream meant. Maybe that I craved the attention he once lavished on me, as a child, before life became too crazy and he curled up in a woozy world all his own. I don't hold it against him. I don't hold anything against Mom or Dad...anymore.

I've dedicated my blog this year to remembrances of times past and how they intersect with music. It's helped me work through...whatever I apparently need to work through.

Never say never.

I had a tradition of creating a video at the end of every year, ever since 2006, for the Red River song, "Ring In The Old". I stopped a couple of years ago because I had lost interest and had moved on.

This year, I felt nostalgic and on the spur of the moment, decided to do it once again.


Happy 2018 to you.

This is the best I could do.

And that's a-okay with me.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Runnin' Down A Dream

I'm not a classic rock fan. I don't even know what the term, "classic rock" is supposed to mean. To me, classic rock is not the type of music they play on classic rock stations. Our local classic rock station has a playlist that consists of approximately nine songs. From what I can tell, classic rock consists of Aerosmith, ZZ Topp, The Who, and Tom Petty.

I am, however, a Tom Petty fan.

I honestly missed the Tom Petty era. The seventies were a lost decade of music for me. If it wasn't for my little sister, I wouldn't have any acquaintance with Tom at all. My sister turned me on to the album, "Full Moon Fever" in 1989. So I was only approximately ten years behind the times, in Tom Petty World.

What I knew about Tom Petty I could count on the fingers of one hand:  Full Moon Fever, his hat, The Traveling Wilburys. 

Lately I've been watching a Netflix documentary about Tom. I like him. He was a likeable guy. I was going along, liking him, and then he talked a bit about his childhood. And then I really liked him. I don't know why, but I'm continually surprised to learn that other people had crappy childhoods. I thought it was just me. I seriously did think that. Everybody I knew growing up seemed to live such serene lives. "Serene" is not a word I've used to describe myself -- ever. It makes me feel better to learn that somebody like Tom, who later touched the sky, started out as a messed-up kid. 

Musically, Tom will always be this to me:

Tom said, about this song, that each of the members of the group threw out lines, and they kept the best ones. I can pick out Dylan's words. Dylan's words, in general, are sublime. I would love to know which other words belonged to whom. 

George is gone, Roy (my heart) is long gone.

Now Tom is gone. It doesn't seem right somehow. It's too soon. I barely got to know him.

I'm ending this post this way, with joy. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016


If you haven't seen this video, you really should. I've watched it a few times, and I keep wanting to play it again.

This performance is from George Harrison's 2004 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and features Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison, and a special guitar soloist at the end. Be sure to stick around 'til the end! You won't be sorry.

I wonder if that guitar ever came down.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Sad State of Fame

The only reason I ever watched the movie, "Sling Blade" in the first place, was because Dwight Yoakam was in it. I honestly don't think I've seen any other Billy Bob Thornton movies. At least, not intentionally. It's a pretty safe bet I'll never see another.

Oh, you know, if you follow pop culture news at all, about the now infamous radio interview, featuring Billy Bob at his best. Seems that Billy Bob has a band, called the Boxmasters, or, as a satirist called them, the "Boxcutters".

And, it seems that, through Billy Bob's Hollywood/Texas connections, he managed to get the Boxcutters (er, Boxmasters) hitched to the Willie Nelson/Ray Price tour. Nice gig. One that about a bazillion bands would kill for.

Apparently, one of the obligations for the band was to do some radio promotion. Alas, that was asking waaaaa-y too much of an important Hollywood bigwig like Billy Bob.

Billy Bob seemed to not like the "tone" of the questions posed to him by the disc jockey. The DJ had the audacity to mention that BB happened to be an "actor". WELL! The impertinence! BB showed this guy. He sat in his chair and proceeded to make an ass of himself (as his bandmates frantically looked for a table to crawl under).

You be the judge:

The interview left me feeling really bad for the guys in the band. Did they actually sign on for this?

Seems that shortly thereafter, some of the guys came down with the "flu", and thus the Boxcutters had to leave the Willie Nelson tour.

Here's what those who bought tickets missed:

Ahem, "would you ask Tom Petty these questions?"

I definitely see the similarities. Don't you?

They're both "bands". They both are singing "songs". I mean, it's uncanny!

Sadly, for some ungodly reason, this infamous interview has brought attention to the Boxcutters that they could only pray for. And some fool will buy their CD, just so that he or she can feel close to someone famous.

Meanwhile, all those unknown bands, with singers who can actually "sing", are left out in the cold. They're wondering how they can get on the Willie Nelson tour. And they know that, given the opportunity to do a radio interview, they wouldn't be petulant. They'd be polite.

But, then, they don't have that sense of entitlement that only an actor who had one hit movie could have.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm listening to someone who's keeping (alt) country music alive. He's not on the Willie Nelson tour.

His name is Robbie Fulks. Buy his CD's. Please. He's one of our last hopes.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Music Recommendation - I Report, You Decide (ha)

I picked up a new CD today. Well, I was returning two CD's that I got for Christmas, two CD's that I already had.

Luckily, I read magazines in my spare time, or I would be ignorant to new, interesting CD's.

So, my mission was to find "Goin' Home - A Tribute To Fats Domino".

Luckily, my local Borders had it in stock. Buying music is a pain, which is why I rarely buy any. Face it, most new music is a waste of money and time.

To digress for a minute, do you have a hard time finding good music in your local stores? I do. The closest store to me is Target, which carries the newest offerings by Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, et al, but would I find "The Bluegrass Sessions" by Merle Haggard there? No. I never buy CD's at Target, because they don't have anything I would want.

We do have a local, independent record store close by, but their selections are minimal in my categories. My categories being, I guess what you would call Alt Country. What used to be just "country" back in the day. Artists like Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, Gene Watson. My other category is older rock artists who sound more country than the so-called country artists of today. Those would include The Eagles, Neil Young, John Fogerty, Tom Petty.

So, I do most of my music shopping online.

You can find anything you want online (I usually shop at Amazon). BUT what if you want music NOW? What if you don't want to wait five business days to get your music?

Oh, you can download music (again, I use Amazon. And if the song I want is unavailable on Amazon, I go to ITunes or WalMart).

That's all fine and dandy if you want just a song or two. Even if you want a whole album, unless it's an artist you cherish. If it's Dwight or George or Marty, for example, I want the actual physical CD. It's just a personal pecadillo of mine.

So, back to my shopping (returning) expedition today. I headed off to Borders, hoping that I could find "Goin' Home". I returned my two CD's (the lady was rather rude, by the way). Then I went off to flip through the CD racks. Surprisingly, I found it rather quickly. And it was worth it. This is a double CD, with artists such as Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Elton John, Randy Newman, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, and many, many more. Also lots of New Orleans blues.

I am very much enjoying it.

So, here's a promotional video for the CD that I found on YouTube: