Monday, October 02, 2017
Tom Petty, 1950-2017
The music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was so incongruous in the late 1970s that a record store in the Crown Center shops in Kansas City filed the group’s 1976 self-titled album and 1978’s You’re Gonna Get It! in its “new wave” section.
The mislabeling was somewhat understandable. When played alongside the polished likes of Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice” on commercial rock radio stations, the rough-and-tumble “Breakdown” sounded entirely alien.
Only when Damn the Torpedoes hit in 1979 did it become completely apparent that Petty’s music was squarely in the center of the American rock and roll tradition. His appearance at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, on January 11, 1980, was one of the most powerful performances I’ve witnessed. (Opening act the Fabulous Poodles weren’t bad either.)
Petty died today.
(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)