We’ve just learned that Tom Petty has passed away. Another great artist taken from us way too soon.
You’ll see the obligatory RIP’s honoring Mr Petty all over social media. Sadly, you’ll also see those posts by folks getting cranky that a celebrity is getting attention instead of a veteran or relative etc …
My dad passed away in ’97, he was 76, he was a WWII and Korean War veteran. I would have liked to see him get the attention and respect he deserves, but I know my dad wouldn’t want the attention. Not for that anyway. “Always remember son, the only people that talk fondly about war are those that have never been in one” my dad once said to me. That from a man with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
My wife and I lost our 14 year old son Seamus almost 5 years ago to cancer. Shay deserves to be admired. However, I know my son and he wouldn’t want the attention. Even though it was well earned. He wasn’t who he was or did what he did for accolades. He did things the way he did because it was the right thing to do.
Sometimes we want things for people or relatives that they may not want. You may have a reason not to admire a celebrity that others do, you should keep in mind that they are just as passionate about their reasons as you are about yours.
I was a painfully shy and awkward teenager. From about the ages 12-22, the things my dad and I agreed on were exactly 0. If there was a way to enlarge that zero I would!
Music was my refuge. There are many artists that I could talk about, but for this article I’ll just focus on Tom Petty. I love the radio friendly hits, “American Girl”, “The Waiting” etc … The songs that spoke to me were the less commercial tunes like “Something Big”, ‘Shadow Of A Doubt(Complex Kid)” and “Fooled Again(I Don’t Like It)” just to name 3.
Tom Petty was a fine musician and probably an underrated guitarist. What he did best though was tell a story. He set the scene and pulled you in and the 3 songs I mentioned I felt clear to my soul the first time that I heard them.
“If You Believe In Forever Then Life Is Just A One-Night Stand, If There’s A Rock And Roll Heaven, You Know They’ve Got A Hell Of A Band”(To Steal From The Righteous Brothers). I know my son is listening right now with that little wry smile and sitting just close enough to see and hear well, but far enough back as to not be noticed.