Monday, October 9th, 2017

Tom Petty

He was the unlikeliest of pop stars in the hairsprayed and shoulder-padded MTV era, a thin-lipped, stringy-haired Florida ne’er-do-well whose toothy smile never seemed far from a sneer, whose band played swampy rock & roll with a pub-rock snarl and whose thin, scouring-pad voice sang anthemic highway-ready pop choruses about the feelings you wish you didn’t have and the bad decisions you have to learn to live with. It was a one in a million chance that a gang of dropouts and weekend rockers from Gainesville would ever amount to anything but a few not unhappy memories dating from the mid-70s; but Tom Petty was a one in a million talent, a clear-eyed writer with a knack for honeyed melodies that drew on the thirty-year history of rock to create songs so indelible and evergreen that it seems as must they must always have existed.

For many of us, born since his heyday, they have: Petty’s last Top-40 hit, “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” was from the 1994 album Wildflowers, which sounded thirty years old when it was new, but if it were a person would have graduated from college by now. But an unmatched catalog of perfect pop-rock songs stretching from the late 70s to the early 90s, many of which went unappreciated at the time, have gone on to a deathless life on classic-rock and throwback radio formats, peppered throughout movies and TV to underscore reflective or joyful or wistful moments, part of the ever-shifting tapestry of pop history that does what mass art at its best does: give voice to complex or transient emotions, unite us in shared enjoyment, remind us of beauty.

Here are some of the things we were reminded of this week.

Anaïs Mathers on “American Girl”

something that’s so close/yet still so far out of reach

I could tell you about being eight years old and seeing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with my parents at the old Miami Arena in 1995, long since torn down for a newer, shinier building. I could tell you about how my dad let me climb onto his shoulders when they played “American Girl.” I could tell you how I waved my arms in the air while my dad sang along in thickly accented English. I could tell you about how Tom Petty records often played in our house not just because it was good music but because it was some of the music my dad listened to in order to learn English when he came to the US; Tom was clearer than most. I could tell you how I tried to keep my eyes open in the backseat of the car on the drive home as my dad hummed.

I could tell you about being a college freshman in Gainesville, Florida, sitting on the floor of some guy’s dorm with him as we mixed vodka with Gatorade. I could tell you about how hot it was that night and how his AC window unit was doing us no favors. I could tell you how we listened to the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ self titled album and when we got to “American Girl”, when it got to the end, this guy told me about how the song was about a girl who jumped off her balcony in the same dorm we were sitting in and swan dived right into traffic on 441. I could tell you how he was pretty annoyed that I was more interested in hearing about this urban legend (the dorms didn’t even have balconies!) than I was in hooking up.

I could tell you about living in Gainesville a few years later just a few blocks from that dorm in an apartment that overlooked 441. I could tell you about being so depressed I couldn’t go to class, about sitting on my windowsill eight stories up (no balcony here either) and smoking cigarettes while watching traffic. I could tell you how homesick I was for a home that didn’t really exist anymore. I could tell you about how bright it was, even in a not so big place like Gainesville, and how on nights when it seemed like I wasn’t entirely in my body anymore, I wanted nothing more than to push off that windowsill with eyes closed. I could tell you how it was only the thought of how 441 was so long that it extended not only from where I came from to where I was right then but to places I hadn’t even seen yet. I could tell you how I climbed back into my bedroom and tried to sleep based only on imagery and promises made in Tom Petty songs.

I could tell you about when I finally left America. I could tell you all the good things about therapy and falling in love and Canadian healthcare but what hasn’t already been said about them? I could tell you about how relieved I was to leave but how much my heart ached the night before I was set to cross the border as a landed immigrant. I could tell you how in a Days Inn in Buffalo, I took my own photo in front of an American flag my dad had packed with me. I could tell you what a relief it was to leave and how it broke my heart that I was right that there was a little more to life somewhere else.

I could tell you about how strange it is to be an American girl these days. I could tell you about wanting to turn your back on everything you once knew. I could tell you about how sad it is to grow up and realize everything you were taught was bullshit. I could tell you how much sadder it is to realize the privilege you have in that system. I could tell you how complicated it is to be OK with being an American girl. I could tell you that there is shame there.

I will tell you that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers recorded “American Girl” on July 4th, 1976, the bicentennial of the United States. I will tell you that this song has the jangliest guitars I’ve heard played the way you might a new wave song: fast, danceable, hopeful. I will tell you that Tom Petty seems like one thing (“dad rock”) to a lot of people; I will tell you that those people are idiots. I will tell you that Tom Petty is not only one of the finest songwriters and musicians of any period but he is exactly what we could want in an artist: open, curious, flawed. I will tell you that Tom Petty was open to growth, open to change, open to being wrong. I will tell you that this is almost more important than his music; the risk with which he lived and created is the most American thing I could ever imagine: being able to be wrong is being free.

Jonathan Bogart on “Here Comes My Girl”

In the wake of the news, grieving in my particular way (listening through a Spotify playlist), I tweeted: “Have I ever felt an emotion that wasn’t expressed by Tom Petty in songs millions of people love?” This is one of the rare songs whose central emotion I haven’t ever really experienced, but that’s in large part because I’ve never felt a tithe as cool as Petty sounds here, drawling spoken-word verses like a redneck Lou Reed (or Clarence Carter) over a musical bed that is all tension and sparkle, beat poetry overgrown with kudzu and lit by burned-out neon. Of course beyond the affect, I know the feelings the verses express, intimately: “I ain’t really sure but it seems I remember the good times were just a little bit more… in focus.” Ain’t that the truth. “It just seems so useless to have to work so hard, and nothin’ ever really seems to… come from it.” It does indeed. But then Benmont’s piano stabs into a key change, and Petty’s relaxed voice strengthens into song, and “she looks me in the eye-eye-eye” and all that exultation and pride and joy and no, it’s gone. I don’t get looked in the eye-eye-eye, or the solidarity of thatlittlegirlstandingrightbymyside, or told “we gonna last forever,” and if I did I would certainly begin to doubt it. But I still keep listening to it, as though to teach myself how to someday feel it, to prepare my soul for the eventuality that the unspeakable hope (heaven, an earlier thinker might have said, and I can’t say they’re wrong) embodied in the crooning, crashing chorus might become fulfilled, somehow, in my hearing. “Here comes my girrrrl,” Petty purrs, as dewy-eyed and shimmering as a lovestruck Merseybeat combo, and the posturing verses resolve into just another line, something to say to pass the time until love happens. All you need, they say.

Rebecca Gowns on “The Waiting”

I had a feeling that my baby would come early, but she didn’t — she made me wait. I kept checking the validity of my pregnancy as it progressed, and as soon as I hit 36 weeks, I was more than ready. I woke up every morning and thought, “This is it. Today could be the day.” I had my hospital bag packed; our parents on speed-dial; my to-do list was empty. I dutifully attended prenatal yoga classes every week and watched the room shift week by week as the other women started to disappear. “She was past 9 months,” the yoga instructor would say of a disappearing woman, “so we probably won’t see her anymore. It was just her time!” The chorus of “The Waiting” kept coming back to me, a distant refrain that grew louder and louder. “You take it on faith, you take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part.” Like all of Tom Petty’s songs, the melody is simple, the hook grabs, then you realize, when you look a little closer, that it’s made from strange glass. It’s the ballad of the bad boy gone good, the absence making the heart grow fonder, the time that stretches between each date with someone who’s really special. And then, as I pulled up the song and unpeeled the verses, it came to me through another lens: a song from a parent to the child on the way. Where did these words come from? What I’m struck by the most now is the bridge — “Don’t let em kill you baby, don’t let em get to you / I’ll be your breathin’ heart, I’ll be your cryin’ fool” — a vulnerable plea almost buried by guitars, but when you hear it, it’s gutting. These are exactly the words I was thinking of on the surgery table, when I saw my daughter for the first time. She was a week overdue, and the hardest part, oh, all the hardest parts, just fell apart as I kissed her face. When I look back at those long hours of anticipation, this song will always be the score.

Thomas Inskeep on “You Got Lucky”

In the fall of 1982, I was in 7th grade, and thanks to a contest at school (which involved selling tickets to a “variety show” put on by the parents of the band and choir members in grades 7-12), I won my first stereo of my own. It was a Panasonic boombox (very similar to this one), and I was very quickly in its thrall. I was already a huge fan of American Top 40, and now, whenever I was in my room after school, the radio was on, tuned to the local top 40 station. Top 40 radio as 1982 became 1983 was a fascinating thing: there were still plenty of soft, AC/pop records on the charts (from “Baby, Come to Me” to “You and I”), along with a heavy dose of AOR from the likes of Journey, Don Henley, Sammy Hagar, and John Cougar — but there was also the creeping influence of Britain’s new wave, as Culture Club and Duran Duran were each on their first US hits, and A Flock of Seagulls their second. And while Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “You Got Lucky” was ostensibly AOR — by this point Petty, alongside the likes of Cougar and Bob Seger, was one of the kings of “heartland rock” — this single was different, too. It was the first of Petty’s singles I remember knowing when it was out, and it opened with (and was based around) eerie keyboards from Benmont Tench. “You Got Lucky” sounded futuristic in a way that, say, “Jack and Diane” didn’t, and it was fitting that its video (whose concept was the band’s own) echoed the prior year’s Mad Max, because this wasn’t regular old meat & potatoes rock ’n roll. This sounded unusual, especially to a 12-year-old whose musical tastes were just forming. I’d often play the radio low, after I had to turn out my bedroom light, listening to every bit of top 40 magic I could before falling asleep, and “Lucky” sounded even better, and eerier, at night, like a transmission from somewhere distant, coming to me through the night sky, bouncing off the stars. I’d later learn that being synth-based, it was a bit of an outlier in the Petty catalog, but in a way that makes it even greater. “You Got Lucky” is still one of my favorite Tom Petty songs, and it still, 35 years later, sounds better (long) after dark.

Ian Mathers on “Don’t Come Around Here No More”

In all the tributes to Tom Petty since his death, people keep (understandably) coming back to the clarity, consistency, and quality of his songwriting; something about it seems to have dated less than many of his contemporaries. I know as a little kid growing up in the “Free Fallin’”/“Into the Great Wide Open” days, when radio or MuchMusic would play “Don’t Come Around Here No More” the clearly, uh, stylized (and so impossible for young me to peg to an era) fashions in the Alice in Wonderland-homaging video combined with that evergreen nature of Petty’s talents meant that it took me a lot longer with him than with many of his peers to actually understand that he’d had a lengthy, productive career, and not just an amazing clutch of out-of-time hits. Now, older and with more of a basic grounding in the production sound of various decades, the relative datedness of those stiff electronic drums (or at least the treatment given to Stan Lynch’s drums, once you look at the credits) and co-writer Dave Stewart’s forebodingly sleazy electric sitar seems like it should date “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, but as more than one admiring musician has noted (cf. here for some examples), it still doesn’t. It’s like, to take an example that otherwise has very little in common with this song, the way the Stooges used sleigh bells on “I Wanna Be Your Dog” — a totally incongruous element in the band’s sound that, by virtue of the strength of the song, sounds in this one context perfectly natural. One of the amazing things about Petty-as-craftsman was that you could get such an off-kilter, hugely loved, emotionally compelling song out of such disparate parts; a song called “Don’t Come Around Here No More” from an album called Southern Accents you might think would dip into politics somewhere, but it’s based on the time Stewart crashed at Stevie Nicks’ mansion after a party and woke up to hear her telling off recently ex-boyfriend Joe Walsh with the title phrase. Which then turns into Petty (a close friend of and potent collaborator with Nicks, and that’s where we’ll leave it for this blurb) giving an amazing performance, his voice sounding authentically strained throughout as he groans and wails and moves through arch disdain, richly self-mocking sarcasm, genuine sounding ache, pained fatigue, and several other examples of the densely textured, often unsung, totally quotidian emotional registers he could summon so effortlessly. Like so much of his work, it feels like a magic trick; rare are the singers or songwriters (let alone both) who could do so much, not with so little (never forget that the Heartbreakers are one of the greatest bands-as-indivisible-units ever forged, and his own talents were staggering) but with so much that just seems standard or normal. The flashiest thing about “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (even that sitar feels totally normal by halfway through) is the memorably creepy video, yet another example of Petty being one of the only acts at his level to consistently come out with actually really good videos, probably because he was willing to put them in the hands of others and had seemingly no ego as to how he came off (neither the snide, vaguely murderous Hatter here nor the pathetic creep in “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” were particularly good looks, which only made him seem cooler — he got that he not only didn’t have to always be the hero, but that it would get boring and honestly weaken the emotional storytelling in his songs if he insisted on it). There are probably dozens of Petty songs I could have picked to illustrate just how amazing (and, thankfully, loved) he was and in such often unassuming ways, but I kept coming back to “Don’t Come Around Here No More” because, no matter what the emotional truth of the situation that inspired Stewart and Petty in the beginning or even whatever Petty brought to the performance, this is for me maybe the strongest example of Petty willing to appear potentially wrong, cruel… hell, petty. More than many of his peers Petty seemed to realize that great songs can’t and shouldn’t just be aspirational, that we need songs just as much (or even more) when we are feeling uncharitable, wounded, disdainful, and so on. Plenty of people have given us indelible songs, but Tom Petty might have been the only songwriter at his level of prominence who covered as much of the emotional spectrum in doing so.

Anthony Easton on “Southern Accents”

I am ambivalent about Tom Petty in the ways I am about most classic rock, acknowledging the talent and skill that they display, but never quite thinking that they are for me. Americana’s ambivalent relationship to country gives me more room to interleave my own fears of labour and of working class desire on a history that plays with a generic geography. The South is never generic, the politics are never quite clear, but the clarity is about overlapping crises of very specific locations.

Patterson Hood talks about the crisis of specificity in an obituary for Petty, about how he is not really sure about how to be southern, or what the negatives of being in the South are, he talks about the gap between expectations and reality, between representation and the failure of those representations to represent: “Doing what I do, I am often asked about my favorite Southern rock band. It’s a term I always hated (and used it with that in mind as part of a title for one of Drive-By Truckers’ albums). The question is usually prefaced with another, framed as a simple choice: Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd? The correct answer for me is R.E.M. and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers…”

This song is an argument for the South — which is slow, local, interior — a ballad with a tight harmony, a deconstruction of the sweetness of the South (“that drunk tank in Atlanta, just a motel room to me”) and a reification of southern instinct (how he sings about his momma). It’s not the line about Orlando that makes it local, or even how he talks about his mother, but how it threads the needle between Stephen Foster and the Allman Brothers, between hymnody and Michael Stipe’s lonely baritone.

This was a title track for an album from 1986. There are things that must be said. I wonder whether the oranges in Orlando would be picked by someone less pale than Petty. Whether the drunk tank would be as hospitable if he weren’t white — or to someone who is quite local, whether all the accents of the south are as laconic as Petty’s. He had the Stars and Bars decorating the tour for this album, and he apologized for that oversight (and oversight is a politeness) more than a decade later.

All of that said, maybe the most southern thing about the song is that the South is constructed as a narrative of nostalgia. That one always seeks to return to a South, if one is white, if one can afford that desire. It is a song that was written, in a grand historicised style, by a man from Florida who was living in Los Angeles. It is about the idea of Florida as a metonym of the South, of the South as a metonym for this swamp of nostalgia that can only be written about outside of the actual, material swamp.

Maybe that’s why it’s so perfect.

John Seroff on “Spike”

Part of what made Tom Petty an artist whose work survived comfortably into the new millennium is that while his songs reflected the perspective of an affable and genuine Southerner, there warn’t a lotta peckerwood in him. That’s clearest to me on “Spike,” a misfired 1985 Heartbreakers single about a young punk frequenting a shitkicker bar. It’s fun to hear Petty gleefully set up the genesis of the tune in this 2012 live performance of “Spike” as if it’s his own personal Alice’s Restaurant, drawling wise about “hippie killers in The Cypress Lounge.” Can there be any doubt about where Petty’s sympathies lie? Surely he knew the firsthand frustration of being thought “another misfit, another Jimmy Dean,” laughed out of the club for being a white trash, would-be new wave poseur in a leather jacket. But Petty was more than petty; there’s a meaningful final reel twist of sympathy for the redneck when our narrator comes around to asking the punk with the leather jewelry more and more seriously to tell him about life. In the end, this backwoods Budweiser guzzler cops that maybe he “need me a dog collar too, boy.” All this over the train track chug of drums, a twangy lean guitar and a trotting organ nipping at the singer’s heels like an old hound dog. “Spike” never quite got the radio toehold that its psychedelic, sitar-driven album-mate “Don’t Come Around Here No More” did, but I happen to think it has aged better. It’s sharp, catchy, demands a little hard fought insight from its subject and, perhaps, from the listener. Anyways, in an American South divided by the urban and the unemployed, what message could land more squarely true than that the future ain’t what it used to be?

Josh Langhoff on “I Won’t Back Down”

Behold the Annunciation: In early 1990 I got musical advice chiefly from Breakaway magazine, the adolescent boys’ indoctrination ministry of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family empire. Their reviewer was a kindly dad type and an enigma. He told me to avoid Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract,” because of the line “She makes the bed/ and he steals the covers”: clearly Paula and the Wild Pair were sleeping together, rendering the song off limits for Christian teens. A reasonable reading; but even so, thoughts arrived like butterflies. What if Paula Abdul was supposed to be married to the Wild Pair? By quoting this troublesome line in Breakaway, wasn’t the fatherly columnist soiling boys’ minds as thoroughly as if we’d listened to “Opposites Attract”? In fact, the sexual implications of the line only occurred to me because of this fatherly columnist’s advice! After which they continued to occur to me, daily. Again and again.

So when the columnist recommended Full Moon Fever, and particularly “I Won’t Back Down,” whose summer of ‘89 radio run I’d missed, I was intrigued. He speculated that some of Bob Dylan’s “Christian principles” had rubbed off on Petty; I’d only recently learned how to pronounce Dylan’s name. “Look!” I said excitedly to Mom, jabbing my finger at the magazine I’d stuck in her face, “Breakaway says I can get the Tom Petty tape!” That was good enough for Mom, who really had nothing against secular music — particularly oldies radio, which we enjoyed together during her crossing guard shifts. Upon purchase, I was surprised to learn “I Won’t Back Down” contained the word “hell,” which I wasn’t allowed to say lest I trivialize the place and spend eternity paying for the privilege. I also found puzzles I couldn’t solve — songs about Zombie Zoos and Micanopy, mysterious romances that appeared briefly and then drifted off like cattail fluff. On the Christian tapes Mom put in my Easter basket every year, forthright literalism was a given. With Petty it seemed merely an option, to be discarded on a whim.

“I thought that it was maybe just too direct,” Tom Petty once said of “I Won’t Back Down.” “There isn’t really anything to hide behind here, you know?” Which probably explains why the Christian reviewer recommended it. But listening to Full Moon Fever daily, again and again — in my room with the door closed, or on the Walkman while Mom ran errands and practiced the organ — I never heard the song as an anthem. Repeated scrutiny simply forced “I Won’t Back Down” further down inside me. Singing the song in public, with other people, seemed as gauche as Soldiers for Christ using a metaphor. That dry opening march of guitars, the build into the explosive chorus harmonies, the tuneless way Petty pronounced the song title (fun to imitate in the shower!) were all private pleasures, to be treasured up and pondered in my heart. As Mary said upon learning her son was adored by multitudes: “Huh. Weird.”

Jessica Doyle on “Runnin’ Down a Dream”

The Florida Turnpike features some of the dullest driving in America: miles upon miles with no exits save to the white-grouted, Dunkin-Donuts-equipped rest centers, and nothing in between to lay your eyes on save the occasional landfill or billboards informing you, for the 33rd time since you left Kissimmee-St. Cloud, that a baby’s heart starts beating at 18 days. The last time I drove the Turnpike I had two kids in the back seat and thus couldn’t put “Runnin’ Down a Dream” on; it would have been irresponsible; my foot would have put the gas into bad-mom territory as soon as I heard those opening chords. The song isn’t actually set on the Turnpike, like I self-absorbedly thought — Petty mentions trees — but I have the two linked together: because to have the career he had Tom Petty had to get the heck out of Florida. The United States, the southern half especially, has been justly criticized for its longstanding love affair with cars and the nature-chewing, community-leveling highways built to accommodate them; and maybe I should be condemning “Runnin’ Down a Dream” for its unabashed embrace of the promise of traveling on your own, even if there isn’t that much to look at outside, even if there’s no one else in the car. Petty wrote plenty of songs later about discovering that there was not, after all, something unequivocally good waiting down that road. But listening to those guitars, and his voice as if he’s telling you his story at sunrise after returning your lighter, it’s easy to rejoice in the going; as if even a desultory drive down a lonely highway could be an adventure.

Gin Hart on “Free Fallin’”

“Free Fallin'” is a perfect aphorism. Petty’s mild-mannered opening strum and supine vocals offer a kind of blankly evocative space. The mind spores and the spores bloom, emanating across a succinctly yet thoroughly located Los Angeles. You find yourself there on the map by the naming: Reseda/Ventura/Mulholland — they signify themselves, need not be described. You ride through at a near-miraculously spooky hour, the streets devoid of traffic. You could drive fast but don’t, letting the heat and the haze impress themselves upon you, the unified field of sheer atmosphere allowing each plot point (map pin) to sprawl through, dig in.

Genius dot com calls this escapism; I can’t agree. Even though the first chord switches on a projector in my head, the whir of which I can almost hear, which unspools a film I can almost see. (It’ll be useful to note that I have aphantasia. I lack the capacity to visualize… this song makes me feel as though I can grope my way into mind-sight through my feeling-sense, they way Toph can “see” through her seismics. This is visceral every time. Click, flicker, whir). Cinema in its social modality is, sure, joined at the hip with collective fantasy, sure sure. But do you feel unfettered to think of the facts of a life, your life, and not be able to grasp onto them? To know you had and lost sweetness, a girl who’s crazy bout Elvis like you are (“my picture of Elvis was… was the American Dream” [btw my personal actual feelings re: Mr. Presley are more like this])? To know you’re the villain in the story, and your villainy derives from your apathy, and your apathy is what makes you wanna write her name in the sky? It’s wanting to want, which is wanting to stand on something solid. Heartbroken girls have it good — heartbreak as a fetter but also as a certificate of humanity. Proof of being someone, somewhere — gravity, ground.

Los Angeles is mastodon of place and plurality and pavement. If you’re there, but not there, if you’re above and in the sky and, without a parachute, falling, you’re either death-doomed to splat or damned to a perpetuity of disorientation. Petty and Lynne’s vocals soar through the chorus, describing the plummet of unreadiness. Tumbling and repeating and ultimately fading out, gonna leave. this. world for a while.

Ian Mathers on “Zombie Zoo”

Maybe it’s because I grew up in such a sarcastic family (where, crucially, it was used both for humour and to express affection), but a lot of the Tom Petty songs that others seem to take as being fairly straightforwardly negative I read as a little more…. not necessarily positive, but let’s say multivalent. I know I’m not the only person my age to assume that making fun of something and loving it can coexist without friction (and I know that problems that can lead to, but that’s another blurb). When you combine that with me being not-quite-eight when Full Moon Fever came out and my mom picked up the CD and I started playing it obsessively, you get a little kid who wouldn’t realize for, uh, at least a decade that many people think of “Zombie Zoo” as a song where Petty officially becomes a grouchy old man, sneering at the punk kids. Now, I guess I’d point out that if that’s the way he felt, 1989 is kind of a weird year to start taking potshots at punk (being both too late and too soon) and that the less positive lyrics here feel more to me like rueful remembrance of what it’s like to be a kid than some sort of damning indictment. But when I was less than a decade old I mostly would have just told you that 1. the synthesizers sound like a baseball game 2. a “zombie zoo” sounds like something out of a video game i.e. awesome 3. this was probably the song on the album I most wanted to put on repeat and jump up and down to, three minutes at a time. I’d find out later that the Zombie Zoo was an actual club Petty and company walked past or went into one night (I can’t track down the anecdote) and were slightly nonplussed by, and that the line wasn’t the evocatively ungrammatical “painin’ in a corner” but in fact “painted in a corner” (which is probably better, and again speaks to the sympathy I feel like Petty clearly has for his “target,” but I still have a sentimental fondness for my mishearing). And now I can appreciate the steady gallop and sturdy construction of the song and Roy Orbison’s backing vocals, but one thing hasn’t changed: especially for a star as resistant to quick-changing notions of “cool” as Petty was, I’m not at all convinced that “you look like Boris Karloff and you don’t even care!” was intended to be insulting instead of admiring.

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One Response to “Tom Petty”

  1. A lot of beautiful writing in here–well done, the lot of you.