31 Years, 31 Days, 31 Bands: Tom Petty

We defy anyone, even the casual rock listener, to not know all the words to at least one Tom Petty song. He was our generations’ Mad Hatter.  We feel this quote best describes him:

“Tom Petty was a pleasingly unpretentious rock star-a guy just trying to figure life out.” (The New Yorker)

That’s why he touched so many with his music.  All of us are just “trying to figure it all out.”   We don’t always know how to express it. Tom helped with that.  Everyone has that one Petty song that you crank up when you feel crappy.

Sadie knew who Tom Petty was growing up. Her parents played his music a lot, because he had some great songs, like “Breakdown,” “American Girl,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Refugee,” “The Waiting,” “You Got Lucky”… The list goes on and on.

It wasn’t until 1993 that Sadie really paid attention to Tom. In a sea of rap, R&B and hip hop, Tom broke through with this crazy video that really made a whole other generation appreciate his entire catalog of music: “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” The video was haunting, like nothing people had ever seen before.

Doc’s favorite song from Tom Petty is “Wildflowers.” My song was “Wildflowers.”   It got him through some really tough times, and it still does. It’s his go-to song when he feels lost, even to this day.

When you sit back and think about his expansive music career, as a solo artist, with The Heartbreakers and The Traveling Wilburys, there has to be at least one song that you love. He was one of those artists. You couldn’t hate him, even though you’ve heard “Free Fallin’” a MILLION and a half times. His music inspired so many, his lyrics relatable, and his style can never be duplicated.

This was Tom Petty’s last performance. We still miss him. Thanks for all the great lyrics and addictive melodies Tom.




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