It Might Be Good To Be King, But It Has To Be Better To Be Tom Petty

There have been a couple of wonderful pieces on Tom Petty over at Popdose in recent weeks – here and here. And why shouldn’t there be glowing tributes written to the man here, there, and everywhere?

Although Petty himself once had a song called It’s Good To Be King, I think I’d disagree.

It would be a lot of hassle being king. For one thing, you have to deal with the serfs. Personally, I don’t want to stress over the ticking time bomb that is a large mass of poor, hungry, begrimed humans who know that you are responsible for their misery and have decided there is little left to lose should they storm the castle.

Would you rather go to sleep at night with that scenario on your mind or would you rather be Tom Petty?

I mean, yeah, like anyone else, I’m sure Petty has had some friction in his life. I seem to remember his mansion burning down and he broke his hand, rather seriously as I recall, during the recording of his Southern Accents album…

…but being Tom Petty has to be one laid-back, devil-may-care existence.

(of course, he might have to put up with Willie Nelson calling him at all hours of the night)

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Ways To Be Wicked
Lone Justice did an incredible version of this song on their debut. Petty’s version came out years later on a box set and it’s three and a half minutes of glorious, garage band racket.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Southern Accents
It was recording the Southern Accents album when Petty broke his hand against a studio wall. I thought that I read in Rolling Stone at the time that he did so in excitement over the music.

Whatever the case, I remember eagerly awaiting that album when it was released in the spring of ’85. Eurythmic Dave Stewart’s role as producer intrigued me and Don’t Come Around Here No More was as wonderfully demented as I’d expected.

As for the full album, I was somewhat disappointed. But from the first time I heard it, I thought that the title track was absolutely stunning. It’s a beautiful song and I don’t know if I’ve ever believed a singer more than Petty on this one.

Tom Petty – Yer So Bad
This song is simply infectious.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Walls (Circus)
Walls (Circus) always makes me smile as – maybe more than any other song – it makes me think of Paloma. We listened to the Songs And Music From She’s The One incessantly when it came out. Though the song is a bit wistful, I always took it as resilient and hopeful.

Maybe it was the purple elephants in the video.


2 Responses to It Might Be Good To Be King, But It Has To Be Better To Be Tom Petty

  1. wolf says:

    The video for Don’t Come Around Here No More remains one of my all-time favorites.

  2. […] (and he’d probably agree wuth me that it might be good to be king, but it has to be better to be Tom Petty) […]

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