Monday, October 09, 2017

This has been an especially rough summer, especially in the music world.

We lost some greats.

Chris Cornell, an original godfather of grunge and one of the most amazing vocal ranges.
Chester Bennington, whether you liked Linkin Park or not, dude could sing and seemed like a genuinely nice, albeit depressed guy.

The most recent casualty, Tom Motherfuckin' Petty. a total shoe-in for the Rock N' Roll HOF.

One of the saddest things is the first two artists took their own lives. There will be those who speak ill of them. They will say they had everything, the world on a string. While that may appear to be true, something was not right in their own private Idahos.

See, sometimes shit goes sideways or, if you're from across the pond, pear-shaped. I've always wondered what the origin of that saying was, because what the hell is wrong with the shape of a pear? Why should it be linked to things going epically wrong? Something like that could give fat-bottomed girls and lard-ass boys a complex.

In reality, we only see the artists public persona and that may or may not truly be who they are. It must be terribly exhausting to have to be, "ON" all the time to please everyone, fans included. I was spotifying some metal today. Linkin Park's, "One Step Closer" came on. The lyrics jumped out at me. Chester could have been hurting his whole career and no one ever noticed. "Cause I'm one step closer and I'm about to break..." doesn't get much clearer then that. Was it coincidence that Chris Cornell and Chester were friends, probably not but, I hate to think one suicide contributed to the other. Either way, they will now shine brighter than when they were with us.

This, of course, includes Tom Petty. Full screen this bad Larry and enjoy!


I know this is not a huge favorite of old-school fans but, it might be my favorite Tom Petty song. Maybe ten years ago, my brother got Tom Petty tickets for my birthday. While my taste in music has always been varied, Tom Petty was never an artist I felt like I HAD TO SEE. I put on the surprised and excited face but inside, all I could think was, "Tom Petty...really? What am I 50 years old?" The concert was two months away which was plenty of time for me to forget about it. When the Saturday came around I was considering faking an ass-ache but, I felt bad my brother shelled out some decent cash for the tickets. Reluctantly, I went.

It was my brother, sister in law and I. We did minor tail-gating, beer, and chips beforehand. Not even a buzz walking in, which was fine by me cause it was hot and humid and that would pretty much guarantee a headache. My Morning Jacket opened open. I was only mildly familiar with their stuff but a somewhat little-known fact *cough* is that their fans are fans of the mari-ji-wanna. The air took on somewhat of a sweet yet pungent tang and by the time Tom came on, everyone was doing alright.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for lack of a better phrase, "fucking blew me away." They played for a solid two hours and I knew way more of his catalog than I thought I did. The ungodly early Sunday mornings I spent as a dishwasher listening to classic rock, left a bigger impression on me than I thought.

When I heard of Chris Cornell passing I was shocked. Not as much as I thought I would have been but still shocked. I immediately thought of Michael Hutchence, from INXS, another tragic loss. The next few nights, I fell asleep to Soundgarden's, "Badmotorfinger" and was disappointed I never gave that disc the credit it deserves. It's solid front to back. More importantly, I was sad I would never have the opportunity to see those songs performed live.
A short time after this event I was getting in my car and driving home from work. When I pulled in to the driveway, I had a news alert. I learned Chester had also taken his life. "OH COME ON!!!" I yelled as I punched the steering wheel. 2017 was wreaking havoc on my favorite musicians and I didn't even think there would be more to come.

When I learned of Tom Petty passing, that coupled with the shooting rampage in Las Vegas, I put myself in a self-imposed media blackout. "Jane, get me off this crazy thing, " was all I could think. It's so hard to not feel discouraged and beat down when you turn on the television or read new on the internet. Everything sucks. The news sucks, government sucks, and unfortunately, people suck. Never in a million years did I think when I sat in high school that this was going to be the type of bullshit world that I was going to have to live in.

That being said, I am going to go and throw on the headphones and fall asleep to Tom Petty.
Rest In Power, Tom!

I hope you all are well.

Cheers,
jj

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