“Always a Friend of Mine” (for Tom Petty)”

When we got the news the we lost Tom Petty last week, I listened to Jamie Coffis on KPIG Radio that evening. Jamie did an awesome show, played four hours of Petty and threw in lots of live and obscure things…every one of them a treasure. Over on Facebook, my old high school bud Robert said losing Tom Petty made him feel like his best friend died. After Jamie’s show, I ran with that and wrote “Always a Friend of Mine,” intentionally riffing on the melody to “Won’t Back Down”.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers was on my life soundtrack from practically the time I started buying records. Loved his first two records, then came “Damn the Torpedos,” the monumentally classic rock album, right around my sophomore year in high school.

The years rolled along. And Petty just kept releasing one great record after another, through sidetrips to The Traveling Wilburys and solo projects (which always featured most of the Heartbreakers anyway), to a couple of memorable sidetrips with his original band, Mudcrutch – whom we were fortunate to see at the Santa Cruz Civic, and finally to “Hypnotic Eye,” his final full-band album a few years back – a record that I argue belongs somewhere in the top three or four TP records.

Somewhere in the middle of that forty year run, he released “Full Moon Fever”. It made me want to start playing guitar. Then came “Wildflowers”. It made me want to write.

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  1 comment for ““Always a Friend of Mine” (for Tom Petty)”

  1. November 26, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I love the way you payed homage to Tom by referencing “I Won’t Back Down”. This is obviously a heartfelt song and I know Tom would be pleased at such a fine tribute to his artistry. It obviously touched you. Good work my friend. It reminded me that I once played “Running Down a Dream” with you – at Roudon Smith if I remember right.

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