Thursday, October 5, 2017

i showed you stars you never could see... RIP Tom Petty

 Sometimes, I just stay up all night remembering and feeling.Tuesday night was one of those nights.

Monday, as i was making my way to the Vegas vigil in Union Square, I heard about Tom Petty passing.

He was too young, i thought.  It was one thing for George to die, but Tom.  He was too young.  He was just on  MTv.  He was just on the Super Bowl.

I looked the news article my friends were starting to comment on.  It said he wasn't really dead. But was still in the hospital.  OK, he's not dead.  I relaxed.

The next day his obituary was in the Times.  The story was confirmed.  He was gone.

Throughout the day, I played American Girl over and over again.

They first recorded the song in 1976.  And i loved it, hearing it over and over again, in movies, liver performances, in  carpool, over and over again.  

"Well she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn't help thinkin' that there
Was a little more to life
Somewhere else
After all it was a great big world
With lots of places to run to
Yeah, and if she had to die
Tryin' she had one little promise
She was gonna keep

Oh yeah, all right
Take it easy baby
Make it last all night
She was an American girl

It was kind of cold that night
She stood alone on her balcony
She could hear the cars roll by
Out on 441
Like waves crashin' on the beach
And for one desperate moment there
He crept back in her memory
God it's so painful
Something that's so close
And still so far out of reach..."

We all knew there was something better out there. That's the promise of childhood. Our challenge as adults is to make sure it happens, that we find that place.  Petty was right, it is painful to know "something that's so close And  still out of reach...."

In the early 1980's, we had MTV.  Tom's best music was on constant rotation.

"even the losers get lucky sometimes...."
"don't do me like that"
 "stop dragging my heard around. "

By 1985, I must confess, I stopping paying much attention to his music.  But the greatest hit album was always on rotation in the car.

Tuesday night, I came home from work.  Said goodnight to my kids, who are teenagers themselves.

And I sat up watching the old videos of the band, thinking about all those songs.

Oh Tom...thanks for being a poet of the scruffy American childhood.

At some point we have all been the losers. When George wanted to play in a band after John and Paul he picked you. But we always had you.  Its seems like you were always around.  Just a few weeks ago, i saw you on the George Harrison documentary remembering George and Roy.

I watched your behind the music, thinking about those years, followed by the police behind the music, remembering all the music, just feeling it.

There was a fleeting moment when it was all new. But that was a long time ago.

But after that you were always around, your band playing American Girl. 

I watched clips of your last show, just few weeks ago.

Hearing you thank the crowd for forty years of all of us being together, it sounded like you knew it was coming.

And then, you and your band played American Girl one last time.  Last song, last performance ever.

 Thanks for showing us a few of those stars Tom.

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