Aloha Friday Motivation | Thomas Earl Petty Edition | POST:102023

 Happy Aloha Friday! (Blog Link)

Believe it or not, I was taking my son to school on Tuesday and "Learning to Fly" was on the radio and it got me to thinking how much I love Tom Petty. Catching the song was a chance encounter because it is a quick 5 minute jaunt to his school and my dial is typically tuned to Phish Radio (Channel 29 Sirius/XM), so it meant something that I was hearing it. As I listened to the song, I started thinking, “How can I incorporate it into my Aloha Friday post?” So, as kismet, or luck, or synchronicity would have it, when I logged in today I saw that today is a Tom Petty’s birthday.  

One of my first concert experiences was Tom Petty at the Meadows Music Theater in Hartford, CT on Friday, August 18th 1995. He was promoting his recently released “Wildflowers” album and I had been scratching up my father’s copy of “Into the Great Wide Open” since I received my first discman. I do not recall much of the music, so much as the way live music made me feel and the grandeur of the amphitheater. To this day, each time I step into an amphitheater, I am immediately cast back to that show, seeing everything through a 14 year old’s lense. And when his music comes on the radio, a similar nostalgia warms over me.

What is unique, to me, about Tom Petty, is his ability to leverage the simple messages, putting them in simple terms, but regarding very deep and thought provoking themes. It was his music, his lyrics, that first got stuck in my head without me knowing it. I have had decades to ponder over “Two Gunslingers” or “To Find a Friend” or “Only a Broken Heart” or “Into the Great Wide Open” and as the years go by, my awareness, my life circumstances, my knowledge (or lack thereof) helps shape my perception of the meaning behind the lyrics.

Here are some Tom Petty | Fun Facts to go with the choice tracks above. And, for those who want a deeper jive into the Petty Catalog, check out Rolling Stone’s take on Tom Petty's 50 Greatest Songs!