When Tom Petty started being heard, it seemed clear that the old guard was behind us and the new kids had taken over.
Clapton, Beatles, Stones, all the old guys, it seemed, they stayed behind, fueled by their own gravitas and maintained their own club. Prince, Madonna, MJ, those guys, they maintained their own sphere. It was a reasonable doctrine, two hemispheres easily discerned. And the doors were closed.
Tom Petty somehow began later but dug his feet in with those old guys and eventually grabbed a big fistful of that gravitas for himself and became just as ubiquitous and therefore sometimes regrettably forgettable as a Keith Richards guitar riff. I don’t know if it’s because he was a Wilbury or because he was Tom Fucking Petty. But he wasn’t one of these new kids. Tom Petty was always right at home with the classics even though he was an MTV fixture. More a contemporary to Stevie Nicks than to Tiffany. More a generous talent than most who ever performed.
We got lucky when Tom Petty found us. What a voice, what a story teller, what a time.