As a rock’n roll fan, losing Tom Petty is a particularly harsh sting to the soul. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania’s version of Americana, Petty embodied a rebellious “I-gotta-get-out-of-this-town” type of vibe. His music urged you to scratch the itch of your dreams. And his music was best played loud, on an old stereo system in the basement that your dad acquired in the ’70s, during the the very beginning of peak Tom His music — and entire aura — was a bridge between the bohemian ideals of the ’60s and how they actually apply to your reality small town America. Like Mellencamp and Springsteen, Petty’s was a salt-of-the-earth type of poetic escape.
I can’t tell you how many times in elementary school and middle school I yelled the “oh my my, oh hell yes, honey put on that party dress!” with groups of friends watching VH1 after school. Or engaged in the following:
John Mayer eloquently captured exactly this on Instagram and Facebook.
“He made me believe in two things: that songwriting was everything, and that California must have felt like his music sounded…”
Run down those dreams, kids.