Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Tom Petty R&R Hero!
Have you ever seen Peter Bogdanovich's movie about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers? "Runnin' Down a Dream." It's streaming now on Netflix. Released in 2007. It is an epic, an opus, probably rivals the running time of "Lawrence of Arabia." Actually the Petty flick is longer than Lawrence. It took me three sittings to get through the thing. And it doesn't tell the whole story, Petty and the Heartbreakers are still going strong today. So yeah, a major commitment to finish it, but the movie is totally well worth it.
I must say Petty emerges as one of the great heroes of R&R. A man of integrity and determination. Unstoppable. Even with all the hits, and all the great records, and being inducted into the Hall of Fame and all, I think it's safe to say that he's sort of "underrated."
It's all a pretty amazing story. Petty got it in his head he was going to be rock & roller, and he carried a van load of musicians with him to L.A. He stood up the record labels, fought for his songs, fair pricing, a good deal. Never sold his soul. As George Harrison said about Petty: "He's not full of shit." High praise indeed.
And Petty is always searching for the next great song, the next great record. And he connected with amazing artists and characters along the way - Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart, Jeff Lynne, Stevie Nicks, Rick Rubin, Jimmy Iovine. Plus his trusted and loyal band members: Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench.
The saga all rolls out like destiny, a tale of trials, gumption, and good fortune. A powerful dude with a sterling vision. Never wavered. As they say, "Damn the Torpedoes!"
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