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Everything posted by RedfordCowboy

  1. Oh, and BTW, whatever happened to Lonesome Dave?!? (Used to play in a rock and roll band). Was this tune from the Greatest Hits sessions?
  2. Just thought I'd point out how similar my quick little All the Rest mock-up I did earlier this year ended up being to the official final cover artwork...:)
  3. So no digital downloads are included with any of the tiers?
  4. Yes and no. I have one friend, Charly, who is a huge fan. We talk and text about Tom a lot. He listens to TP Radio all the time (along with the Beatles station). He's in a little bar band and he plays TPATH covers all the time. I'll send him a "deep cut video of the day" for fun. I have a few other friends who dig TPATH music, but not as much as me. Mostly the Greatest Hits variety. When Tom passed away in 2017, my brother, who isn't a big fan (doesn't own any albums, but doesn't have anything against him either), said this to me: "You know, Tom Petty, he's not in anyone's Top 3, but he's in everyone's Top 10." I laughed, because he is in fact in my top 3, but I got what he meant by the comment. Everyone loved Tom Petty. Everyone thought he was cool. Everyone thought he rocked. I feel that most anyone and everyone liked him, certainly no one hated him, or had a strong reaction against his music. I mean, how many people have you ever heard say, "Man, that Tom Petty, I CAN'T STAND HIM...AND HIS MUSIC SUCKS." None here. Never heard it. He was just a likeable guy all around, you had no problem with him, and his songs were impossible not to enjoy in some way or another. It seemed that all over the internet, with articles, blogs, and comments on YT videos from regular people, that Tom's passing was a big deal. Even if people weren't huge fans, I think that many people realized the absolute loss to the music world, and the world at large. In a good way, Tom and his music were like wallpaper in their lives–always there, always dependable, quietly and consistently providing joy through several decades. Even if you weren't always aware of it. And it made you incredibly sad to realize that his presence was gone.
  5. Thanks, MJ2LD, you too, my friend. I was reading through Paul Zollo’s book again yesterday. I’m even more convinced that there needs to be an in-depth series of interview conducted with Bugs. I can’t imagine the stories he could tell… Tom says in the book that he doesn’t give interviews, but maybe he would change his position since Tom’s passing…
  6. For sure. Agree with you on the b-sides and alternate versions. Where would they go? Are you sure Girl on LSD wasn't considered for inclusion with the original 25? I'm definitely not a fan of that song....
  7. Don't know where this observation would be best placed, so I'll add it here. We know WF is a very personal and introspective album. I just realized that the concept of dreams and dreaming were a BIG theme in Tom's writing during this time (1992-1996). Never really noticed it before until a simple lyric from the new song struck me, and I started thinking about it (Have a dream on me). This idea of dreaming or desperately wanting something better in life. To hope for, happen, to manifest, to be in a better (different) place... - Wildflowers - the entire song is wistful and wishing (dreaming) for someone to be in a place where they feel free. - Good to be King - A long dream or daydream. "Excuse me if I have someplace in my mind, where I go time to time..." - There Goes Angela (Dream Away) - Feels so weird typing out the title of a new TP song!! "Have a dream on me." -YDKHIF - "I woke up in between a memory and a dream." - Dreams of Flying - apparently from 1994...See chorus - Hung Up and Overdue - We're overdue for a dream come true..." - Angel Dream - "I dreamed you..." - Wake up Time - "You follow your feelings, you follow your dreams..." Perhaps it was time to wake up from a certain dream and walk into another.... Maybe this was intentional, or maybe a lot of was coming to him subconsciously. Just wanted to share!
  8. Yeah. For a moment there, I thought that maybe there would be 26+ home recordings....!? Then I read that same thing you mentioned on the Hoffman forum about the potential track sequencing for this... And this would make sense with a multi-disc deluxe release in mind. For example: Disc 1: Wildflowers: Original Album (1-15) Disc 2: Wildflowers: All the Rest (16-25) 10 song album of unreleased songs. The 10 that got cut from the original 25 song vision for the double album? This appears to be what Tom said in the Rolling Stone article* that were so good, that it could almost be a "new" album on its own. He could not see them as outtakes. Quote: "There’s probably six songs that nobody has heard. There’s 11 or 12 [new] songs on the album. I think people are going to like it a lot. I like it a lot. At one point the label really just wanted to put it out as a standalone album.” Disc 3: Wildflowers: Home Recordings (26- ) We've heard 2 songs so far from this batch. To me, this might be one of the more exciting things about this release. This would be the closest thing to hearing Tom in his living room playing these songs for you on the couch. Talk about intimate. So there could be 30-40 tracks for ATR... Someone mentioned that there won't be a live album included, say a complete show from the 1995 Dogs With Wings Tour. Which is kind of a bummer if that's true. *https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/tom-petty-considering-wildflowers-tour-in-2017-86493/ Also being considered and being discussed for ATR was releasing the original double album concept - with 25 songs. This would be a mix of old and "new/unreleased songs", that would potentially drastically alter the sequencing of the Wildflowers album that we're familiar with. Would this be a good or bad thing? Would this mess up the Wildflowers experience, or throw is in an alternate universe? At any rate, this seems to be the less probable option. But it would be interesting to at least see the proposed track order that was submitted to WB.
  9. 100 is a pretty big list. I was thinking about what would be considered the top 10 most well known & popular TP songs with the general public. For the casual fan, the radio listener, occasional concert goer. Then contrasted with my own favorites. Here's what I came up with. GENERAL PUBLIC TOP 10 1. Free Fallin' 2. I Won't Back Down 3. Don't Come Around Here No More (memorable video) 4. Mary Jane's Last Dance 5. Runnin' Down A Dream 6. Refugee 7. American Girl 8. The Waiting 9. Wildflowers (seems to get quoted a lot, and get the most tattoos...) 10. Learning To Fly Gosh that was hard. Honorable mentions: Here Comes My Girl, Listen to Her Heart, Into The Great Wide Open, Breakdown, Even The Losers... MY TOP 10 (for today at least)... 1. Walls (Circus) 2. You Get Me High 3. Surrender 4. Kings Highway 5. To Find A Friend 6. Casa Dega 7. Scare Easy 8. Even The Losers 9. Good To Be King 10. Mary Jane's Last Dance How about yours? Go with your first take, from memory....and don't overthink it. There's no wrong answer
  10. SIDE A 1. Rebels 2. Trailer (Playback Version) 3. The Apartment Song (A Little Lonely Tonight) Feat. Stevie Nicks 4. Spike 5. Dogs On The Run SIDE B 1. Don't Come Around Here No More 2. Walkin' From The Fire 3. Casa Dega 4. The Best of Everything 5. Southern Accents
  11. Less than 2 weeks and counting! I wanted to try tossing out a handful of random/hodgepodge mini-topics out there, and see what sticks. Maybe one or more will spark or spur a few more conversations before it's finally time to move on. Feel free to jump in or add your own to this list. 1. Take my skateboard, take my snowboard, take my wallet, take my car... We've heard that there's a 7-minute studio version of Breakdown. I would love to hear it some day, and wonder if it will ever be released. Hard to imagine there wouldn't be some extended, moody guitar work from Mike here. 2. Not On Label I was checking again to see what WF vinyl is going for these days. Anyone ever seen this before? Unofficial Wildflowers LP - on cream vinyl https://www.discogs.com/sell/item/1112305204 3.Interesting tidbit. Stan’s departure was announced on Oct. 20, 1994. https://www.thepettyarchives.com/archives/miscellany/newsletters/1995-february Notice that particular date? 4. 400 Days in a gig in the South... I always thought it was odd/random that 400 film first became available on the Deluxe version of the Live Anthology. Why do you think the 400 Days doc was shelved in the first place? I also wonder if it was Tom’s idea to document the recording and subsequent tour of the Wildflowers album this way. Was it Martyn Atkins idea? 5. Rare shows Which show would you rather hear: - 1993 Viper Room Opening Night - 1996 one-off show, where several yet-to-be-released STO songs were played 6. Next Archive Release Which Box Set release do you want to see the most? - All the Rest - HB GH sessions 1993* - Fillmore Box set 7. My Back Pages I've read Zollo book and Zanes book. But I haven't checked out any of these. Have you read them, and are they any good? - Rock and Roll Guardian https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Petty-Guardian-Rotondo-Paperback/dp/B014I8D506/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2C80BFBGIZLYS&dchild=1&keywords=tom+petty+rock+and+roll+guardian&qid=1595088537&sprefix=tom+petty+rock+and+%2Caps%2C258&sr=8-5 - A Rock and Roll Life https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Petty-Rock-Roll-Life/dp/0980056187/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=tom+petty&qid=1595088662&s=books&sr=1-13 - Definitely looking forward to this one: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-You-Feel-Free-Angeles/dp/1642935115/ref=sr_1_15?dchild=1&keywords=tom+petty&qid=1595088698&s=books&sr=1-15 8. But what about Bugs? Has there been a tread dedicated yet to Alan "Bugs" Weidel? I think he was more than just a roadie. He basically rode shotgun with Tom throughout the duration of his whole career. He was with Tom when he saw his mom for the last time in the hospital. He drove Tom to his dad’s funeral. He ran the tape during the HB recording sessions. Can you imagine the perspective and insider stories he must have of Tom, his family and the band? Has he been featured or interviewed before on TP Radio? I think someone could conduct a multi-part podcast series where Bugs can talk about his life and time with Tom. The man behind the scenes who got a front row seat to it all. ----------------------------------------- Bueller. Bueller....Anyone?? *Rubin says the band recorded somewhere in the ballpark of 50 songs...!!
  12. Beyond Stoked. In light of this, and the strange transmissions that are emanating from TomPetty.com....I wrote this poem: Static at first… Static at first… Now I’m picking up signal On the Supernatural Radio Tonight a Full Moon is hanging In the midnight sky And we’re going for a moonlight ride Can you feel it? There’s Something in the Air It’s just the normal noises in here… Harmonicas on the back porch Back by the tall pines and power lines Music notes rising, intertwined With the sounds of the night– Werewolf howling in the distance An Indian shoots out the light The sound man is ready to capture all the magic Can you feel the Mojo & studio vibes? Bugs has enough tape While Rubin is twisting the knobs The first stop on the journey Is not far from the Crystal River We’re heading to the Cabin Down Below Hit the last number and walk to the road Oh Baby Doll! What a ride it will be– One with an old friend He’s been Waiting For Tonight Your ultimate Highway Companion So turn the radio on soft and low Because it’ll be Time to Move On When the sun comes up tomorrow. ----------
  13. Studio album ranking 1. Wildflowers 2. She’s The One 3. You’re Gonna Get It! 4. TPATH 5. Full Moon Fever 6. DTT 7. Into The Great Wide Open 8. Hypnotic Eye 9. Echo 10. Highway Companion 11. Mojo 12. Long After Dark 13. The Waiting 14. Southern Accents 15. The Last DJ 16. Let Me Up Expanded List/Bonus Round…to include Mudcrutch, box sets, live albums, GH, etc. Why? Because there are some TPATH releases that I enjoy (no, LOVE) more than some of the studio albums. 1. Wildflowers 2. Playback - Disc 6 3. Playback - Disc 5 4. Mudcrutch 5. Greatest Hits* 6. She’s The One 7. The Live Anthology 8. An American Treasure …. All the rest (starting at #3 above. And I would have to put Mudcrutch 2 high up in this mix, 'cuz that record is also EXCELLENT.) *Yes, 1993’s Greatest Hits will always hold a sentimental place in my heart. Even though I’ve heard each song 1000 times or more, and I only return to it on occasion, because I surely WORE IT OUT, I still love and cherish this collection. As a hardcore TP fan, you sort of take GH for granted, and dismiss it because you know all about Casa Dega and the other deep cuts and the residencies and you’re a card carrying member of the Mudcrutch Farm, etc. and you’re a mini encyclopedia of “real stuff” the casual Greatest Hits listener will never know anything about. Shame, really. But man, what a Greatest Hits package it is!!! A Greatest Hits that eats other Greatest Hits for breakfast. A benchmark, that only the Beatles and maybe a few others can possibly top. I’ve always loved the cover too…with that slight warped photo and colored band faces that give it a psychedelic vibe…the band hanging out behind the board, smoking, let you know that they’re just dangerous enough…that they do in fact embody the full spirit of Rock and Roll…1968 meets 1993…Something In the Air indeed. I bought that puppy on cassette in the fall of ’93. A teenage mind was blown. A fan for life.
  14. On the moment the Heartbreakers were birthed in the studio: "We were stone broke, and crazy, and that was that." - Stan Lynch No one talked, no one asked or tried to figure how it happened, they just made "that sound"....
  15. Thanks Peter! How was this not listed on MikeMono's Rare Tom Petty Media?? Why am I getting some country vibes here? Maybe it's the shirt. Tom Petty Unplugged. Whoa. Wait a minute. Imagine an entire album of songs in this vein, delivered this way. I could definitely see this as something that Tom would've done later in life, something that he'd be interested in. This year Tom would've been Tom's 70th birthday. Close your eyes and imagine, with me, if Tom Petty reconnecting with Rick Rubin during the All The Rest project a few years ago. And Tom casually mentions to Rick how much he loves Cash's first album on American Recordings. "You know, Rick, that first album you did with Cash was really special." (starts singing Delia, Oh Delia...) They both pause and look at each other...as if thinking the same thing at the exact moment. Rick jumps in first. "Holy crap. Let's do it...WITH YOU! We'll follow the exact format that I did with Johnny. You come sit on my couch, just you and your guitar. You can play any song you want, and I'll just hit the record album. And we'll put the album out just like that." Tom nods, delivers that sly smile of his. Now, close your eyes a little more and imagine the album coming out like this: Tom Petty: Troubadour (American Recordings, 2020) Tom Petty: vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica 1. King's Highway 2. Wildflowers 3. Free Fallin' 4. Yer So Bad 5. Square One 6. Walls 7. Trailer 8. Orphan Of The Storm 9. To Find A Friend 10. The Waiting 11. The Ballad Of Easy Rider 12. Southern Accents ---- Excuse me if I have some place in my mind...where I go time to time...
  16. My favorite Canadian rocker Matt Mays doing "To Find A Friend" solo acoustic...on ukulele! (at the 34 minute mark)
  17. I’m arriving a little late to this party, but alas… Boy, this covers vs. originals debate seems pretty intense…tread carefully. I may be stating the the obvious here, but I think the reason TPATH played so many covers is because they LOVED playing covers. They LOVED all those songs. Tom and the band were faithful, lifelong students & historians of Rock and Roll. They knew it deeper, wider, over, under, sideways, down. Shelter mentioned DNA, and playing covers was simply a part of their DNA. It started early. They didn’t just play covers in 1977, but also in 2017 – in fact, they played covers throughout their entire 40 years of touring. TPATH played covers more than most, if not all of their contemporaries. Why? They were fans. Do you remember the music that blew your mind when you were a teenager (maybe it was TPATH!), experiencing it for the first time? Remember that jolt of freedom, escape, possibility, rebellion, hope, joy, confidence, discovery, revelation that it gave you? The same thing happened to Tom in the 60’s. And he never forgot it. It stayed with him for the rest of his life, probably leading him down further roads, discovering new artists, going deeper, doing backwards, tracing it to the roots of it all. It was a natural progression, a lifeblood, an ongoing love affair. In the same way that I’m a fan of Tom Petty, Tom Petty is/was a fan of the Byrds. I put my pants on the same way he does. The only difference is that Tom can play & perform music at a masterful level and makes gold records, and I can’t. Thus he showed his love of these formative artists by playing covers in concert. If I had any music talent whatsoever and were in a band, I would play a TP song. Makes sense to me. It’s Good To Be King would be nice. On piano, just to you know, mix it up. Let’s look into some backup evidence, shall we? 1. The Live Anthology Here we go. Exhibit A. Tom said something to the effect of this box set being an “accurate representation of the band.” The authentic, real deal document of one of the greatest American Rock and Roll bands ever. Of the 61 songs on this collection, 17 of them are covers. I counted last night. That’s more than 25%, and almost a third. That’s a lot! Then look at Pack Up the Plantation as well, the bands first live release. 16 songs, 5 of which are covers. Again, a third! This is obviously a thing. 2. Residencies During those brief, flat out awesome times when the band played residency shows, they stretched out with…covers! Deep covers, baby! Yep, they played some of their own deep cuts, but the also played an ABUNDANCE of covers. Hardcore TPATH fans almost get the feeling that you are seeing the “true band” or the essence of the Heartbreakes when you get a residency show. After all, this is TPATH with no rules, no pressure, no expectations placed upon them. Finally, free from Free Fallin’. And look at the average residency setlist….. 3. The I Wish They Would Play “Luna” or “Waiting for Tonight” Argument This will come out wrong I’m sure, but you almost get the feeling that Tom preferred a cover over one of his own album deep cuts (not the popular, beloved songs, mind you). Because he could’ve easily played any song from his catalog. Now, would I love to hear Magnolia or Casadega live? Yes. YES!!! Tom was rarely self indulgent with his own material. If a deep cut was played, it would make sense to assume it was a personal favorite of Tom’s. Like perhaps Swingin’ or Crawling Back to You. The only song he “personally picked” on the last tour was Walls. He “requested it, because he liked that song.” Again, if he had it his way, and he did, he chose to stock his setlist with covers. Think about this. Have you ever seen Tom point out a song request sign from the crowd, and then spontaneously play it for that person? I haven’t… 4. Soundcheck I wonder what songs TPATH played at soundcheck, behind the scenes. For fun, for warming up, for whatever. I have this bootleg from a 1995 show, I can’t recall what date or city at the moment. Somehow, there are snippets of the soundcheck included at the beginning. There’s a moment when Tom is trying to remember the chords and lyrics to an old Zombies song. He’s humming and singing the lines, trying to piece it together, and he asks the band, “Hey do you remember this one…” The song was “Leave Me Be”. It’s a deep cut by the Zombies, and it’s an awesome song! My point in all this, is that he was a huge fan of the Zombies. And he was thinking of a rare, obscure song at the moment. I would have to think that only a fan does this… Also think about this. The cool thing for any artist to do is to cover the BIG HIT song by someone else. Because that’s easy, gets the most applause/reaction, and appeals to the largest amount people. For example, if you were a popular country artist today, you might show off to your crown and play Free Fallin.’ And they would love you all the more. The ultra cool thing to do is to play a lesser known cover song…Tom did this all the time. Did he play Time of the Season or She’s Not There by the Zombies? No, they played I Want You Back Again. Because they LOVE that song. 5. Clubhouse jamming I remember watching a behind the scenes thing (I think it was for Mojo), where the band was describing their process of making the album. Basically, when the HB get together and plug in at the Clubhouse after time away, they just start out by playing old blues songs. For hours. One band member might throw a song out, “Hey let’s try this one..” or “Do you remember this song by…” Yeah!! Again, because they loved these songs. They were imprinted and ingrained, back in the recesses of their mind somewhere. These songs, just like their own, tied the Heartbreakers together. Mutual love. 6. Tribute albums Tribute albums are made when artists honor or celebrate other artists that they love or appreciate. Some are cool, most are just a hodgepodge. How many tribute albums was Tom Petty or TPATH a part of? I’m too lazy to look it up myself, but I’m guessing not a lot. And any that they were involved with, I’m guessing wouldn’t be a shock to us. I know one, and it’s pretty awesome. It’s called The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Tom doesn’t contribute vocals to one song on this album, but THREE. I will add that Tom stayed faithful to Cale's understated vocal delivery. And if you thought 13 days was an obscure Cale song, well check out the 3 that Tom chose for this project. Why? Because he LOVED those songs. It all goes back to the DNA, I suppose.
  18. Lyrically. Yes. I will have to say that I like Honey Bee much more than Joe! How about this one (musically). I always thought "Jack" was a total rip-off from Love's Bummer in the Summer! Was it done subconsciously?
  19. Good question. Depends on the time, depends on the day, depends on a lot of things, who can say. But at this typing, my faith is strong. I agree with your both of your assessments, arguing both for and against a release. What's another year to wait anyway? I did think that perhaps we'd see finally All the Rest this year, but this was before this whole pandemic went down and cancelled 2020. This changes things. Morale and excitement and anticipation have sure taken a beating and taken a downturn. Because on one hand, in our current context, a new musical release from anybody feels quite insignificant. In the bigger picture. I saw a headline today stating that the Strokes have just released a new album. And I almost felt bad for them, thinking about the timing of things. Usually a new album is a celebratory occasion, with cool bundle options, with an exciting tour to follow, and interviews and reviews and magazine covers - a chance to gift the world with new art. These days, it just feels...less celebratory. Sadly. If ATR were to be released this June, would it suffer the same fate? I could certainly see that outcome. And strangely, I could see also see it going the other way, and having the opposite effect. Depends on the artist. For me, there a certain artist you depend upon. You almost take them granted, almost, because they're always there. Like a close friend that you've never met, but somehow you know them well, and they know you. They are the ones that TRAVEL with you through your life. When Tom Petty was alive, I had the same thought EVERY TIME there was a new TPATH release. It was a feeling that swept over me: All is right with the world. Why? Because Tom Petty, my old friend, my highway companion, is putting out a new album. That's why! And everything is going to be OK, if but for this moment. And sometimes, all we need is just a moment of hope, joy, familiarity, smiles. Will I have the same feeling again with ATR? Yes, I probably will. It's just different now. Because Tom Petty is no longer with us, yet we're still fortunate enough to see and experience a new release. There are only a few artists that make me feel this way. Do you know what I'm talking about? What are some artists/musicians/bands that do this for you? U2 is another for me. As far as the dying down of excitement for ATR, you're most likely right. The only people who would be, and will continue to be, excited for this album will be the die-hard fans. And maybe only them at this point... But I don't know.
  20. No, thank you MJ2LD for all the commenting on the original post...I appreciate you taking the time to add your thoughts to the mix. It appears like you spent some time mulling it over, while enjoying a good cup of non-Maxwell House coffee. That's the best one could hope for - that others could check it out, maybe find certain aspects interesting, and keep an open mind in the process. Good point about Red River - I just missed that one Good point also about wearing a cross. Perhaps that doesn't mean a thing. Just fashion, or the opposite of fashion... I get that this topic may not interest some, and I also agree that it feels like an unexplored area. So I thought I'd take a dive into something different. Shake off the doldrums & inactivity on the Farm that naturally happen from time to time. It's not as epic as Mindbender, but how could it be? I did try to be thoughtful and respectful about it. And to try and use as much of Tom's words/quotes/lyrics that I could to paint any pictures or southern landscapes. And most importantly, to make sure I didn't arrive at a specific conclusion. I certainly didn't want it to be, "Look! Tom said thanks to God in a random liner note, so therefore..." To me, that cheapens the conversation, makes it less interesting or entertaining. For example, take Springsteen's superb album Devils and Dust. The songs "Jesus Was an Only Son" and "Reno" are on the same album. I love it when artists are free to express & address the totality of the human experience, and thus allowing for certain things to resonate with different people in different way at different times. For example, Tom's line, "Well it was nearly summer, we sat on your roof Yeah, we smoked cigarettes and we stared at the moon..." I did sit on my girlfriend's roof and we did stare at the moon. And we laughed and talked for hours...We didn't smoke cigarettes, but even still, that line brings me great joy and makes me feel like I'm 17 every time I hear it. I disagree with the notion that it can't be talked about anywhere at anytime, etc. I mean, if we can talk about something as trivial as which Heartbreaker has the sexiest hair, or whether we prefer Tom with a beard or not, then this one should be fair game. Hey, I challenge someone to do a write up called "Tom and Politics" and look for any areas, songs, lyrics, activism, etc. ever took place. Half joking...
  21. Did Tom Petty believe in God? Well, that’s a complicated one. Not unlike any of us - as our views, understanding, or relationship with God tends to be. While it’s basically impossible to make a judgement (pun intended) on anyone’s faith, I don’t think Tom suffered fools. I don’t think he had a high tolerance for inauthenticity or hypocrisy...and yet we’re all hypocrites at the end of the day, to varying degrees. Simply because none of us live out our highest ideals, values and beliefs fully 100% of the time, do we? So I tend to give more grace to people when it comes to this area of hypocrisy. But that’s not really the point here. I will say that I enjoy finding God in places where you normally wouldn’t expect Him to be or think He’d show up… I’ll examine this question in 3 parts: Tom’s upbringing, Tom’s friends, and lastly, Tom’s lyrics. And you might find it interesting, pointless or total rubbish. That’s OK. Part 1: Upbringing First and foremost, Tom was a southerner. I think knowing this is important to understanding where Tom was coming from with God, and whatever beliefs he may or may not’ve had. One could assume that any foundational understanding or perceptions of God will be filtered through the lens of the South. And the south, when it comes to religion, is a somewhat jacked up. It is a twisted, mysterious, perplexing, paradoxical, fascinating, and mystifying geography when it comes to God, the flesh and the Spirit. It’s one weird place. If you want to see a bizarre and beautiful documentary about this, check out Jim White’s film, “Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus.” It’s filled with strange southern characters, dimly lit honky tonk bars, pool halls, and backwoods Pentecostal churches. Watch it, you might be enthralled. The music is awesome, and I find it hard to believe that places like this actually exist on the map. I think Tom saw glimpses of this world in Florida… It’s the classic duality of the south. You repent on Sunday morning for your sins on Saturday night. I read that his parents taught Sunday School at their little church in Gainesville. I can’t imagine Tom showing much interest in going, and perhaps being forced (dragged?) to go at an early age. During the Heartbreakers 1987 Rock and Roll Caravan Tour, Tom went to Jerusalem. Upon touring the city with Roger McQuinn, and after seeing the wailing wall with a tour guide, he states, “Ten years of Sunday school, and this guys tells me more in 5 minutes.” The guide says that “Music is holy,” to which McQuinn agrees. I tend to agree as well. I think Tom has mentioned somewhere that he sees the band as a holy thing(?). 10 years of Sunday School was it for Tom, then around age around age 11, his main religion becomes the Church of Elvis Presley. His infamous encounter in 1961 with the King is widely known and well documented. From here, rock and roll devotion would take over. And we’re all lucky for this as a result. When then the 60’s happened, and the subsequent experimentation with music, drugs, freedom, rebellion, girls, etc. I imagine Tom probably put God on the shelf for a while during this period. Even going as far into the 70’s and early 80’s well, as he was experiencing his first waves of fame and success. His job, lifestyle and trajectory doesn’t fit nicely into the pews of a small southern congregational church. Also safe to say that living in L.A. and being wrapped in the music industry probably didn’t encourage any type of faith, belief, or expression about God. It would be more of the opposite that would be celebrated and/or accepted. Indeed, the Heartbreakers of the 70’s and 80’s were a wild bunch… Part 2: Friends But then, Tom sure had some popular friends, and who knows what ways they spoke into his life? Or what types of conversations they had in private, as friends. 1. George Harrison One of Tom’s closest friends, and fellow Wilbury bandmate. George, the quiet Beatle, was deeply spiritual, as we all know. In the 1960’s, he was introduced to yogis, meditation, and Hinduism, and remained wholly committed for the rest of his life, embracing the Hare Krishna tradition. It’s interesting to note that when Tom passed, there was a small family memorial service held at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, near L.A. The temple and meditation garden was the same place for the funeral of George Harrison, who died in 2001. I wonder if Tom had a specific wish for this, or if the family chose it… 2. Bob Dylan Another fellow Wilbury. Just try to untangle the faith and spirituality of Bob Dylan, I dare you. A mystery wrapped in an enigma, Dylan caused quite the stir when he released three explicitly evangelical Christian albums between the years 1979-1981. Benmont played on the final album of the “trilogy”, 1981’s Shot of Love. Who knows where Bob stood in these matters afterwards, and when he was in a band with Tom? Yet, in every interview I’ve ever read or watched, Bob’s never afraid to address or speak his mind on God. 3. Rick Rubin A hippie-mystic-guru-meditation-music lover type of guy. All over the map in some ways, but appears to be centered and grounded in others. The decade of American Recordings he did with Cash is some of the best music ever created, IMHO. Having a discussion once about communion, Rubin informed Cash that he had never taken communion before. Surprised, Cash invited and insisted they partake together. Which they did, nearly every day, even over the phone if it wasn’t possible to do it in person. 4. Johnny Cash Cash was a great man of faith (and a walking contradiction, as Kristofferson says). Cash was friends with saints (Billy Graham) and sinners (the rest of us). To be in his presence was to be in awe, and slightly afraid. An artist recognized for his authenticity, and his marriage to June was something to behold. Cash and Tom became close friends in the 1990’s, during the making of Unchained. Tom speaks highly of this time, the recording of this album, and his love for Johnny and June. I have to believe that each of these people had an influence on Tom - his faith outlook, his beliefs, his spirituality - during different points & turns of his life. Close friends tend to do that. In 1996, I read a speech he gave to a crowd of students at UCLA, upon receiving the "George and Ira Gershwin Award For Lifetime Musical Achievement." (you can find it in the summer 1996 TPATH Fan Club Newsletter). This was in the midst of recording with Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins: “At the end of the session he (Carl) took me aside and he said, 'You know, I really like you, Tom.' "And I said, 'Well, what are you getting at, Carl?' "And Carl said, 'I don't know. I just feel that tonight with us playing here that there was a lot of God in the room.' And I looked at him and he said, 'You know, I don't know Tom, if you believe in heaven but it's really nice thinking even if you don't.' "And I said, 'Well, Carl, I just hope that I get there.' "And it really touched me what he said -- he said, 'I really believe all us boys that kinda knocked around on those guitars and drums and things and went through life and were pretty good people and just tried to play a little music and stayed out of people's way -- maybe had an occasional joint -- we may have raised a little too much hell at times, but still found the time to help people whenever we could. I believe that one day we're gonna all sit around somewhere and play music like we did tonight.' And he said, 'When you get there, Tom, I'm gonna give you the best guitar God's got.' “And that really touched me. I want to tell you all that whatever your concept of God is, I believe that He writes the songs and it's just sent down through me, you know, and other songwriters. I feel like a receiver -- and tonight I'm really grateful to receive this award.” He sounds completely sincere and abundantly grateful for the gifts and life that God has given him. “God writes the songs.” Which brings us to… Part 3: Lyrics Let’s look at a few instances where any concepts of God popped up in his lyrics. These are just a few that come to mind, for the sake of this musing. 1. “Oh baby, don't it feel like heaven right now” and “You take it on faith, you take it the heart, the waiting is the hardest part.” (1981) A stretch? Sure… 2a. “I was born a rebel, down in Dixie on a Sunday Morning.” (1985) 2b. Southern Accents, the song (1985) There's a dream I keep having, where my momma comes to me And kneels down over by the window, and says a prayer for me Got my own way of praying, but every one's begun With a southern accent, where I come from Maybe the most intimate and personal Tom has been, lyrically. He didn’t really start to address or even hint at God in his songs until around the time of Southern Accents (the album). He had grown up a bit, and lost his mother a few years earlier. This had an effect on him, and now he was ready to get reflective in his writing. The song becomes a beautiful southern prayer of sorts. This was also a time when Tom was using cocaine, staying up all night, addicted to cigarettes and Coca Cola, had self-admitted anger issues, as well as relationship/marital problems. A time when TPATH goes out on the road with the largest Confederate flag ever sewn together as a backdrop to their stage show. Complete with the Rebelettes, a group of female back up singers. Again, the twisted duality of the Southern thing. The wrestling with the flesh and the spirit. Having it both ways. (For a deep dive on the duality of the south, listen to “Southern Rock Opera” by the Drive By Truckers. I have to think this was a more complete and realized “Southern Accents”) 3. “Gypsies at home watching Jerry Falwell on TV Might mean somethin' to you, it ain't nothin' to me” (1985) The mid-1980’s were a rough time for televangelists, to put it mildly. 4. “You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.” (1989) Impossible not to include! 5. With “I can only thank God it was not too late”, a line he repeats multiple times. Ah, the lovely Angel Dream (1996). And it sounds sincere, like he’s finally found salvation in the form of love. 6. “They love it (rock and roll) like you love Jesus, It does the same thing to their souls” (2002) Well, we know that Tom understood the devotion part of it. He knows both have the potential to save your soul. And yet, still I get the feeling that Tom would rather worship at the altar of Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Chet Atkins, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis (cousin of Jimmy Swaggart!!) and James Brown. And….what do all of these artists have in common? Many, if not all, grew up in the Southern Pentecostal Church. Just food for thought. You can’t ever really get away from it, once it’s in your system. Bruce Springsteen frequently mentions that he is still carrying and grappling with his upbringing in the Catholic Church, not able to shake growing up in the shadow of St. Rose of Lima Church in Freehold, NJ. I personally think it makes for a more compelling artistry, and I appreciate folks who don’t shy away from it. I’m thinking of artists like Cash, U2, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens/Yusef, Lenny Kravitz, Lauryn Hill, Kings of Leon, Kanye West, Marvin Gaye, where I find strong undertones of God, faith and spirituality in their music. There’s probably a hundred more we could mention. Sometimes this is the best church… Then there’s latter day Petty. 7. Playing Dumb, a bonus track from Hypnotic Eye (2014). A scathing indictment about the recent (and appalling) scandals that have have rocked the Catholic Church. “I’m still throwin' up some of that food my mind was fed Well let's light a candle for every kid For every soul that was done away with For every confession that wasn't on the level For every man of God that lives with hidden devils.” Ouch. Say like it is… 8. Finally, I forgive It All (2016) A hymn of sorts. Fact or fiction? Who is his niece Lauren? Was this song directed to people or events from his past, someone like Jane? Was he relieving himself of any burdens or bitterness he was carrying that comes from unforgiveness? Speculation, yes, but you never know. Random Thoughts - I’ve believe I’ve seen Tom wear a cross around his neck in photos through the years. Also, during the 2016 Mudcrutch tour, I remember seeing a photo of Tom wearing a black vest, with a huge cross stitching on the back of the vest. Not saying anything specific, just mentioning it. It might just mean that he’s not afraid to wear/display a cross. - At the end of many concerts, particularly near the end of his career, Tom’s final words from the stage were often, “Thank you, God bless you.” Yes, a lot of artists say this, but you can mean it too. I tend to think that Tom got more grateful with each passing year for the incredible gift and life he was given with his band. Again, “Let me be clear” (in best Obama voice), I’m not making any conclusions whatsoever. Just observations. Do I think TP knew or believed in God? Don’t know. It’s too personal. Maybe even Dana Petty and Mike Campbell don’t know where Tom stood with these things. Tom’s relationship with God was complex, contradictory, nuanced and ongoing. Like each of ours is. Which brings me back to Part 1. If I were to poetically sum it up, I would use this line from Rebels: “I was born a rebel, down in Dixie on a Sunday Morning.” Thanks for reading!
  22. Your comment made me remember a discussion from another thread....After reading, I started writing a piece breaking down ideas & observations about God and Tom Petty. Perhaps I shalt finish it...but where would be a good place to post it? Or somewhere else? Any suggestions?
  23. Something in the air Six days on the road 13 days Traveling light (epic 11-minute jam) The ballad of easy rider Willin’ I’m not your stepping stone So you wanna be a rock ‘n’ roll star I’d like to love you baby Something else!!
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