[photogallerylink id=28955 align=left] [lastfm]Tom Petty[/lastfm] is celebrating his 60th birthday. Jeeze, I remember when he was just a kid from Florida. In the midst of late 1970′s punk and new wave, Tom made his debut with the Heartbreakers playing solid American R&R with heavy [lastfm]Bob Dylan[/lastfm] and [lastfm]The Byrds[/lastfm] influence. Although he was never considered new wave, he did share that drive to return rock to good, solid three chord songs that had hooks you couldn’t resist. It was part of the reaction to 20 minute guitar and/or organ solos. In 1979 he released his third album, Damn The Torpedoes. On November 9th they will reissue the album remastered, and with nine previously unreleased albums on the two disc deluxe edition. This summer the folks that produce the Classic Albums series released a DVD documentary on the making of Damn The Torpedoes.
I got to interview Tom just days after he returned from London where he played in the Concert For George, a tribute to his dear friend [lastfm]George Harrison[/lastfm]. He began the interview in a very subdued mood. You could tell he mourned George deeply. But eventually I got him talking about the birth of rock and roll and the role of independent record labels. That perked him up! I even talked him into visiting the Chess Studios at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue. I didn’t make it to the show but was told that he did visit Chess and urged his fans to visit that R&B and blues mecca. Tom is for real. Let’s celebrate and wish him health and happiness. Now, let’s rock.
Friday Double Feature: Tom Petty & Radiohead
On The Road: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Philadelphia 8/1/10