I think you’d be hard pressed to find rock and roll aficionados who came up in the seventies and/or eighties that didn’t have some sort of inclination for Tom Petty (with or without the Heartbreakers). I was never a super-fan of his, but that’s fine because he had accorded plenty already. In fact, I didn’t start exploring TP&H albums in their entirety until quite recently. Like Springsteen or Dylan, it didn’t take a complete absorption of his entire body of work to have sincere admiration towards Petty’s strenuous integrity and consoling presence. I didn’t have much of an affinity for his later records, or even for much of what he churned out in the waning years of the twentieth century. I hardly feel guilty about that, because there were still enough songs I had a connection to. Plaintive songwriters who reach mass audiences make that connection with fans millions of times over, and as such, more discriminating ears like my own take those artists for granted and opt to explore less traveled paths and environs. Nonetheless, news of his death cut deep. After all, this was someone who’d been creating music for the entirety of my existence, and had been in my consciousness for a good 75% of that time.
He left us with a lot – the vast majority of which I’m not at liberty to share, but at any rate I can give you this. Tracked at the Record Plant in Sausalito, CA (one of three recording studios by the same name owned by Gary Kellgren and Chris Stone) this set was recorded live in studio with a very modest and intimate crowd in attendance, later to be broadcast on KSAN radio out of ‘frisco. Cut between the first TP&H album and You’re Gonna Get It, the seven songs presented here may not be the complete set, but this is the incarnation floating around. It features a preview of YGGI’s “I Need to Know,” and the semi-precious stone “Surrender,” one of the band’s high water marks. R.I.P. Mr. Integrity.
02. band intros – American Girl
03. Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It)
04. I Need to Know
05. Strangered in the Night
06. Dog on the Run
07. Route 66