The passing of Tom Petty at age 66 of cardiac arrest earlier this week is certainly sad for those who listen to music as the man consistently worked with dedication and authenticity throughout what was a solid career.
Yet if we look at it in the context of his other Traveling Wilburys band mates, then it is disturbing to know that George Harrison was just 58 when he died of cancer and Roy Orbison was—and I must confess to being absolutely surprised by how low this number is—a mere 52 when he succumbed to a heart attack.
Jeff Lynne, 69, and Bob Dylan, 76, are still with us. But for them, as for us, the clock is ever clicking.
Without becoming macabre about the whole thing, there is a whole cadre of musicians from the ’60s and ’70s who are getting quite on in years and it won’t be long before there are many whose names will show up in alerts on the screens of our phones.
Jagger is 74. McCartney 75. Townshend 72. Jimmy Page 73. Brian Wilson 75.
And this list could go on longer than I would like to write.
This is going to happen.
Continue reading Not a Pleasant Subject
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mojo (Reprise)
Hot off the class-reunion jam of Mudcrutch, Tom Petty attempts to bring a similar sense of noodling over to the Heartbreakers. The most glaring question, considering the bands under-appreciated keep-it-simple-stupid approach on record and cole slaw grind on stage, is “Why?”
With that sense of “Let’s ring up the fellas and play guitar awhile” approach out of the picture with Mojo, Petty’s twelfth album with the Heartbreakers sounds like lazy meanderings and the most uninspired collection of songs in his otherwise impressive catalog.
Continue reading Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mojo
Mudcrutch – Mudcrutch (Reprise)
Let’s be honest: Tom Petty has released innocuous records for nearly a quarter-century now and we’ve allowed him to do it. After battling his record company in 1981’s Hard Promises, the most vitriolic we’ve seen him is to urge us to “Take back Joe Piscopo” (“Jammin’ Me”) and “Roll another joint” (“You Don’t Know How It Feels”).
His attempt at trying to regain that image of a corporate monster fighter, 2002’s The Last DJ, fell short. It’s one thing to sing about evil corporations and how they’ve destroyed music, but to deliver that album on a major label (Warner Brothers) on one hand and then agree to perform the hits on the biggest corporate sponsored event on the planet (the Super Bowl) afterwards, it kind of deflates that everyman image you’re trying to present.
At the same time, Petty is a guy who’s hard to hold a grudge against. Even at his most complacent, he’s enjoyable. I won’t promise to buy anything that he’s done with Jeff Lynne, but I won’t hold Petty accountable for wanting to work with the over-produced bastard either.
Continue reading Mudcrutch – Mudcrutch
Traveling Wilburys Reborn With Rhino. Billboard: “After being out of print for more than a decade, the two studio albums from all-star band the Traveling Wilburys will return to the marketplace in a variety of formats June 12…”
Too bad they’re not releasing a remix that eradicates Jeff Lynne’s awful production…
Snopes uncovers the true story behind “American Girl” by Tom Petty and it has nothing to do with suicide. Previously.