Just another site

Posts Tagged ‘tom petty’

“The Best of Everything”

Posted by purplemary54 on October 8, 2017

I had to take a couple of days off before I could write this one.  It’s just a little too hard emotionally.  I mean, the song is a killer.  A guy reflects on a long-lost love and hopes her life is good and happy.  And while it’s a tad overproduced, the sadness of the lyrics and the melancholy with which Tom delivers them just makes my heart ache.

Of course, this song is a little bit of a double whammy for me.  The overproduction on “The Best of Everything” comes courtesy of Robbie Robertson.  During the lengthy recording of Southern Accents (they had to leave the studio for roughly a year after Tom broke his hand and basically had to relearn playing guitar; many songs from the original sessions ended up being scrapped or totally revamped), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were at the studio the same time as Robertson.  Tom asked him to produce one of the songs, which became the basic track for “The Best of Everything.”  Robertson took it away for post-production overdubs, and was very secretive about precisely what he was doing to the song.  Tom would regularly ask him how it was going, and Robbie would  tell him everything was fine and that it would be done soon.  When the track was finally finished, there was a beautiful horn section and a backing vocal from Richard Manuel.  (BTW, if you don’t know who Robbie Robertson and Richard Manuel are 1) Google them, and 2) go away; I don’t think we can be friends anymore.)  That backing vocal ended up being one of the last things Richard Manuel ever recorded before his suicide in 1986.

So it’s safe to say I get a little weepy over this song on good days.

Last Monday, October 2nd, was not a good day.  Tom was gone.  Yes, his physical body was still lingering in this plane, but his energy, his spirit, had already moved on.  I could feel that little bit of emptiness left behind in the Universe.  And I sat on my couch with my iPod on.  As I scrolled and saw this title, I hesitated before I hit play.  I knew it would shatter the last pieces of my heart that were still being held together with spit and baling wire.  I knew it would physically hurt to listen to that song.  But I had to, because this was my good-bye to that voice.

Tom Petty gave me, all of us, so much joy, and there really is no way to adequately thank him for it.  Funny how he wrote the only thank you I could think to give over thirty years ago.

“So listen honey, wherever you are tonight, I wish you the best of everything in the world.  And honey, I hope you found whatever you were looking for.”


Posted in Music, Rock | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by purplemary54 on October 2, 2017

When I was thirteen, I walked up to the counter at Big Ben’s music store and asked “Who is this?”  The bored clerk pointed to the red and black album displayed on the counter and said “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.”  I was stone cold in love from that moment on.

No, he wasn’t especially good-looking.  But there was a gleam in his eye and a sly grin on his face that told you all you needed to know.  He was funny and sexy and he never took anything, especially himself, all that seriously.  Except the music.  He always took the music seriously.

I remember an interview with Petty back in the 90s.  He told his parents he was leaving school to become a musician.  His father said he might want to get an education anyway, just in case he needed something to fall back on.  But Petty replied, “I won’t fall back.”  There were a lot of rough times at the beginning, but he was right.  Tom Petty never fell back, he never backed down, and we have all his wonderful music because of it.

The song that was playing in the store when I was thirteen was “You Got Lucky.”  I was lucky my parents wanted to rent a movie that night so I could hear that song on the store’s PA system.  It’s still my favorite.

Posted in Music, Obituaries, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Free Fallin'”

Posted by purplemary54 on June 27, 2012

I’m more or less back, though not quite up to full speed yet.  To be honest, the last couple of months haven’t been the best.  They haven’t been the worst, either.  I’m still waiting for word on my training, but I took a job tutoring writing online. . . although until I start training, I’m considering myself unemployed still.  It’s part-time, but I can keep looking for something else.  And I can work from home.  I’ll probably be helping with cleaning out my uncle’s apartment soon.  That should be interesting.

This song sort of fits my mood right now, stuck in some weird, floaty, transitional phase.  I’m in between.  No, that’s not a fragment.  I feel like I’m between one stage and the next–I guess limbo would be a good word.  That’s the feeling I always got from this song.  It comes from that place where you’ve left something–in this case a relationship–behind but haven’t yet decided where you’re going.  Writing this right now makes me realize why the video was always so perfect for the song.  Nothing much happens in it.  There’s disconnected images of teenagers from different decades, but those parts are really incidental.  the real meaning of the video comes in the transitions, in the shots of Tom Petty singing and playing his guitar while riding up and down the escalators at a mall.  (I can’t remember which one it is, but I’ve been there; one of the entrances from the street is a sunlight atrium with escalators leading to the stores.)  Everything in the video is about transition–a sweet 16 party, a parking lot, escalators.  Coming and going.  Lets hope where I’m going is better than where I’m currently coming from.

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »