A Message About Tom Petty by Joe Chambers
I was trying to digest what I was seeing coming out of Las Vegas. I still am. I didn’t think that I could hear anything that would add anymore grief to such a sad situation. Then I saw on Facebook that Tom Petty had passed away. I was praying it was “fake news”, somebody was playing a horrendous joke. But, unfortunately, it was true. I ordered Sirius radio for my cars a few months ago, really because of one reason, and that was the Tom Petty channel. That’s pretty much what my car radio has stayed on during my commute to the museum and home every day.
Not only for Tom’s incredible catalog of songs, but because of his love and respect of those that came before him. I learned something every time he hosted the show. I also learned a lot of what he listened to growing up was the same thing I listened to which is why I think I was such a huge fan of his and The Heartbreakers. In my opinion, Tom and Mike Campbell wrote songs as a team like Elton John & Bernie Taupin and Lennon & McCartney. I loved every song I ever heard that Tom Petty wrote and recorded. Not just the lyrical content and the melody, but every note and every beat that every one of The Heartbreakers put into each song. As a wanna-be guitar player, I have to say as well that Mike Campbell has to be shoulder to shoulder with any rock and roll guitar player I’ve ever heard. It’s a gift to be able to play melodies, guitar riffs…not only the intros, but the leads that everyone can remember every single note. And then to replicate that live in concert.
The sad thing is I’ll never be able to attend another Tom Petty concert. But, what would be even sadder is if The Heartbreakers didn’t continue to play. Tom could never be replaced and no one should even try but it would be a shame for such a great band to cease performing. The Eagles picked up Vince, Queen picked up Adam Lambert. Maybe somewhere down the road, if the time is right, there’s somebody that Tom would have approved to carry on what he created for all of his fans to enjoy and remember him by.