Last week was miserable for so many reasons. There was general busy-ness and pressure at work. I work in the tech industry and we have to learn and adapt continuously. I wasn’t feeling my best, so everything at work seemed twice as hard as normal.
But you know that’s not why it was a miserable week, right?
It started with Las Vegas, of course, which caused a heavy energy blanket to descend over the world – or at least over the American part of the world. My extra sensory antenna immediately felt that something was off with the whole situation in Vegas, but I couldn’t say what it was exactly.
Chris at The Secret Sun has been doing deep analysis of the symbols surrounding the Las Vegas event. You may not want to visit the site unless you’re ready for a rabbit hole of epic proportions; he’s good, and goes straight into the weirdness. The comments are just as interesting as the article. I love it; you may not.
And then we lost Tom Petty.
Combining work, Vegas, and Petty in one week almost wiped me out. It would have been so easy to fall into a deep depression, the kind where you hunker under blankets. The kind of depression where you watch the same tv shows over and over and over just because they’re comforting.
Both Las Vegas and Petty engendered a widespread grief in society, too. It was a disparate grief, the kind you have when you don’t know quite what to say or to whom the grief in directed. It was unspecific and haunting.
I started listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in high school…back in the 70s. I distinctly remember looking at the cover of both the eponymous debut album and it’s follow-up You’re Gonna Get It in record bins at a local store and knowing I had to listen to that music.
For me, Petty’s death has caused a great deal of soul searching: why is this celebrity death hitting so hard? What meaning did I attach to this man and his music?
As I write this on Saturday night, I still don’t have answers to those questions. It’s still too soon. Heck, it’s still hard to listen to much music from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers right now. I did find R.E.M.’s “Automatic For The People” helpful, but then it’s filled with joy and wonder – like much of Petty’s writing.
I am finding comfort at my favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers community – Mudcrutch Farm. The outpouring of love and sadness from online friends helps so very much. Thank you to Ryan for running the Farm all these years, and to all who frequent the community.
One of those Farm friends asked people to list those songs that, in Tom’s long and fruitful career, are often underrated or overlooked. Here are some of my favorites that you might have not heard.
Straight Into Darkness
This song is a longtime favorite. I was in the 18th row of this 2008 show, and about screamed my lungs out when I heard the opening chords.
Tom shouts, “shut up” at someone in the audience at the start of the video. And then it’s all heartbreak.
Crawling Back To You
1978 Old Grey Whistle Test
The band starts playing around the two minute mark, and keeps rolling for 45 minutes. Songs include Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It,) I Need to Know, Breakdown, Listen to Her Heart, You’re Gonna Get It, American Girl, Strangered in the Night, and Shout
Change of Heart
It’ll All Work Out
Fortunately, the energy in the world lifted a little on Friday. I was thankful because I had yet another busy work day with clients visiting the office – a rarity. The heaviness of the week began to dissipate, and and the shock of losing Tom Petty started to change.
The weekend has been better. I hit up the local library’s annual $2 a bag book sale and brought home some treasures for reading over the winter. No doubt you’ll be seeing them in Let’s Read Books one of these days. And (if you haven’t noticed) I added a logo and changed the site navigation around just a tad.
I’m still sad. Still not listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – other than to put this post together. But life goes on, and I am moving forward slowly. One step at a time. How about you?