Updated: He’s gone now.
I saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play twice (maybe three times? it’s foggy). I saw him each time with a friend who was my concert going buddy for several years (after being my grad school prof for a couple).
My biggest takeway from those shows was that they were a group of total professionals who had mastered their craft. They were tight, dialed-in, and never messed up. They also didn’t shy away from playing their biggest hits.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were a huge part of my mid-late 1990s. In undergrad I delivered a lot of pizzas, which also mean I listened to hundreds of hours of music while driving. I have specific memories–flashbacks even–that place me in a specific location listening to a specific song.
There was that traffic light at Main St and Baird Lane where It’s Good to be King was playing. Or driving down S. Church Street heading back from a motel delivery with Yer So Bad blasting from the box speakers in the back of my baby blue pickup truck.
There are a lot of those moments for Petty songs, especially off Wildflowers, which was released the Fall of my sophmore year in college.
I don’t listen to his music much these days because I have those memories locked in and don’t want to disrupt them or unintentionally shake them loose.
I’ll occassionally listen to some tunes just to get a taste again. And tonight is as good of a time as ever.