So I'm on the treadmill at the Y listening to music with my headphones in and Tom Petty comes on. All of a sudden I'm awash in memories...
I was a DJ on the air in Detroit way back in the late 70's. We had a consultant, his name was Lee Abrams.
Lee was sharp.
I remember a few things about him from those early days--he loved Yes, he turned us all on to AC/DC, and he also said his research showed a new guy coming on strong-- this blonde guy.
I knew a bit about him but not much. At the time we played "American Girl" and "Breakdown" but the album that broke him as far as we were concerned was Damn The Torpedoes. And to this day the song that gets me is "Here Comes My Girl."
Can you hear it?
I always, and I mean always liked Tom saying, "Watch her walk," and with her by his side telling the whole wide world to shove it.
This sounds funny but there was a time Tom wasn't on the radio all that much. Now? He's a staple of Classic Rock radio. Go ahead, listen and wait. He'll be on soon enough.
"Free Fallin'" has always reminded me of my wife, Denise. "She's a good girl, loves her Mama, loves Jesus and America, too."
I remember Tom with The Traveling Wilburys, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. And giggling when he rhymed maybe you'll think of me down the road a ways with the song Purple Haze in "End Of The Line."
He has a lot of them.
One last recollection...
They had a telethon right after 9-11 and the host was Tom Hanks. It was a weird time, a very somber and unusual time. I'm watching it while lying on my bed, in tears, in New York, and Petty comes on with the Heartbreakers and sings "I Won't Back Down." The intense way he looked into the camera as he sang it is something I'll never forget. Listen to the words...
It's been awful with Prince, David Bowie, Glen Frey, and now Tom gone. I preface what I say next with "I wish no one ill will," but wait till Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant are no longer with us.
We're going to lose our minds.
I already know. I walk around muttering to myself listening to the radio now.
Rest In Peace Tom Petty.
Rest In Peace.
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