There are a few people in the music world that I really love, respect and admire. People that not only create amazing, timeless music, but people that carry themselves with integrity and ooze awesomeness.
Tom Petty is one of my greatest music heroes. I hold him in the highest regard, mostly because he has made some truly amazing music throughout his career, but also because he is just so damn likeable and really stands by his beliefs. He is a visionary and a perfectionist and an absolute craftsman.
I recently watched a four hour-long documentary about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (I think it’s called Running Down a Dream), and while it may sound long and arduous, I was completely captivated, mostly due to Tom’s amazing storytelling abilities. Throughout the film he talks at great length about his hometown in Florida, his relationships with his family, his band mates, his experiences on tour and details of his personal life. He also talks about how he took on the music industry…and won (I’ll post more on this later). He also has a truly soothing speaking voice…seriously, people, it could melt butter.
And I love his (their?) music no end. Two of my all-time favourite albums are Tom Petty’s debut solo album, Full Moon Fever, and the Heartbreakers’ record, Southern Accents. Tom can tell a story in a song like nobody’s business. Reading the lyrics to Rebels or Dogs on the Run is like reading the first chapter of a great American road novel (think On The Road). He really is a great American songwriter and half of the appeal of his music is his narrative-style lyrics.
Anyways, I could go on all day about my love for Tom Petty, but let me just finish by saying that he is a musical genius…and seems to have the integrity to back it up.