American singer songwriter and musician Tom Petty achieved success both as a solo act, and as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and one of the founding members of the Travelling Wilburys. He’s also had successful performances with friend Stevie Nicks among others. And he just looks so laid-back, a great guy to hang out with (at least in my little mind), don’t you think?
So, let’s just do that.
I remember people saying Tom Petty was quite the prankster as a kid. He sure looked like a rebel back in the 70s. In an episode of “Behind the Music”, someone said something like “he was a long haired guy in a short haired world.” What a ridiculous way of saying it (and I thought the 70’s were a long haired world), but we get it. With the Heartbreakers, he released some great rock songs like “Breakdown” and “Refugee” (links below). Over the years, his music evolved. I really like his 1994 solo album “Wildflowers”, which emphasizes the sound of the acoustic guitar and the vocals. These mature songs go straight to the heart, like the wonderful “Crawling back to you” (below). I added another live performance, of “Mary Janes’ last dance” (guitar riffs don’t always have to be intricate to be cool).
In 1989, Tom Petty sang “You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won’t back down”. Impressive resolve. Well, 64 year-old Tom Petty is still rocking it and performing with the Heartbreakers who apparently didn’t stand him up, although we’re far from the gates of Hell here. I saw part of a 2013 show on the web, they really seem to be enjoying themselves. These 70’s rock and roll dudes really love playing rock music.
So don’t be fooled by some of his mellow radio-friendly songs, this guy is totally rock and roll!