Tom Petty: One of the greats
Dear Tom Petty (bonafide rock warlock).
Good day to you kind sir, I am writing with the simplest of requests. If you could complete the request it would be a dream come true for three people.
On June 10th 2012 you are playing at the 02 World Stadium in Hamburg, Germany. I will be attending this concert, as will my good friends Petty and Sam.
You are probably wondering whether the name ‘Petty’ is a coincidence or not? Don’t worry, it isn’t. It is about as far from a coincidence as possible. He has been gifted this very honourable nickname because without a shadow of a doubt he looks almost identical to you, the real Tom Petty.
The resemblance is so striking that if he wanted to, he could make a good living by enlisting at a high-end celebrity lookalike agency and get hundreds of jobs booked out at parties and functions to just turn up and be there resembling the one and only Tom Petty.
The coincidence doesn’t end there; he is (as well as me (and Sam)) one of the biggest Tom Petty music fans in the northern hemisphere. Hence why it is no surprise we are coming all the way from Berlin to see your show in Hamburg. At first I was a bit disappointed that you and your band the Heartbreakers were not booked to play in Berlin but then I realised, hey, you can’t tour every town known to man. I know this from touring myself in a band for five years - although our touring was probably much crustier than your 2012 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers European tour will be. It really was ‘no frills’, I bet you can remember those days from when you first started out.
I knew I wanted to stop touring when I was in the north of Denmark and we all had to sleep on airbeds in the venue after the show. That wouldn’t have been so bad except we had to wait a couple of hours before everyone left the bar before we could try and go to sleep. Then I woke up in the middle of the night and my airbed had gone flat because it had been pierced by a piece of a cymbal stand that was underneath it. The piece of cymbal stand was now pressing directly into the side of my dick and balls, which is almost certainly why I woke up.
That was a pretty annoying evening, I will tell you that for free. I really wanted to quit the band right then and there. Instead, I moved the piece of cymbal stand and waited it out on my flat airbed until morning. When the other guys woke up I said:
‘Let’s get the hell out of here.’
Did you know that my friend Petty looks so similar to you that we were going to play a practical joke on you by coming to the backstage area and trying to get past the security guards by saying that Petty was your son? I don’t even think we would have needed to provide any kind of legal documentation as when you see Petty, you will realise that his face is proof enough.
Here he is here:
And here you are:
If we had made it past the security guards we were going to come directly to you and ask you if you remembered a fateful night in early 1985 where you may have been touring and bedded a woman and accidentally impregnated her without knowing. Petty’s birthday would have been nine months after that, in October 1985. We could have shown you his driver’s license or passport to prove it.
However, thank god I did my research. If we had tried to pull that caper we would have looked like a couple of morons. You know why?
You didn’t even tour in early 1985!!!!!!
You had several broken bones in your left hand from punching a wall in your home studio! Doctors weren’t even sure if you would ever play guitar again! Man were they wrong, you sure showed them by bringing out 1989’s Full Moon Fever. AKA mine and Petty’s favourite Tom Petty album ever. Talk about a masterpiece. And of course there are many other great Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers albums like the eponymous debut album, Damn The Torpedoes and also The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 album with Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynn, George Harrison and Bob Dylan. That was really great also.
I don’t know what he is like in real life but man does Bob Dylan come across as the world’s biggest grump. He really is like Oscar The Grouch isn’t he? Wouldn’t it be funny if Bob Dylan, like Oscar, lived in a trashcan?
You have to laugh at the thought of Bob Dylan living in a trashcan with a lid on his head, playing guitar and harmonica with that surly look on his face, and nobody is sure if he has any legs because you can’t see them. I don’t care who you are, but you have to find that funny. Even that grump Bob Dylan would have to laugh at the thought of that.
He would no doubt go back to frowning and looking a bit like an angry sultana one second after finding it funny of course.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Bob Dylan’s music as much as the next guy and who am I to say that he is a grouch as I have not done anything of note that would ever compare to his immense body of musical work. Besides, some people might think that my Uncle Vince is a bit of a grump as he sometimes looks a bit ticked off, but he is basically the nicest guy in the world and also has one of the most powerful moustaches in the Southern Hemisphere (he is from New Zealand).
Anyway, I have gone on a bit of a tangent, it’s 6:30 in the morning and I am jacked up on too much coffee. My request to you is this:
Could you please play the song ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels’ from the 1994 album Wildflowers in Hamburg on June 10th? Petty and I were sitting around yesterday listening to Full Moon Fever at his house on vinyl and looking through your recent setlists, and we couldn’t see it on any of them. We were very worried that we wouldn’t hear that song at the concert and decided that would be a crying shame.
I would literally even prefer it if you played that song to Free Fallin’. That is a great song, but to be honest it is not one of my favourites. Mind you, if you didn’t play Free Fallin’ at the concert you would basically have a riot on your hands as there will be a lot of people there waiting to hear it. I don’t want to be responsible for that.
I guarantee if you didn’t play that song the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter would all have a bunch of angry comments less than two minutes after the concert.
I don’t really understand how to work Twitter properly, do you? It was the first thing that made me feel like I was getting old and didn’t know how to keep up with technology. Mind you, I am far more advanced than my Dad who has never even operated a computer once in his life. You should have seen him when I showed him Youtube. He was absolutely dumbstruck, and he almost fell off his chair laughing when I showed him the video for Guy On A Buffalo. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. My favourite is episode 2 when the Guy On The Buffalo finds an orphan baby in the middle of a field and then gives it to a widower living in a log cabin. Talk about a happy ending.
Speaking of the song Free Fallin’, it really was well placed in the movie Jerry Maguire don’t you think? Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) had just gotten good news that Jerry O’Connell’s character Frank Cushman (‘Cush’) had decided to keep him on as his sports agent and he drives along the road happy as hell with Free Fallin’ blasting at full volume. He basically knew every word. Turns out Cush decided to go with Jerry’s nemesis Bob Sugar later in the film, which was a little heartbreaking.
I don’t know what everyone’s problem is with Tom Cruise. People essentially don’t like him because he jumped up and down on a couch on live TV (Oprah Winfrey) and then went public that he was a scientologist. People should be allowed to believe in whatever the hell they like as far as I’m concerned. So what if he is a bit of a nutcase? So was Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd but everyone talks about him as a genius. I challenge any of the Tom Cruise haters to go and watch Top Gun from start to finish and then try and criticise him. Speaking of that, Top Gun 2 is likely to hit screens in 2013. I am very, very excited about the prospect of that sequel.
Apologies for rambling on, and to finish I would just like to say, even if you don’t play that song I will still love every minute of that concert, and as a side note, thanks for all the great music over the years. You really are one of the greats.
P.s Why did you punch that wall in October 1984 if you don’t mind me asking? It actually sounds more like something I would expect Bob Dylan to do.
P.p.s Petty, Sam and I have decided to catch the train back to Berlin straight after the concert, unless you have room for us to crash in your hotel room? If anyone asks, you could just say that your son and his friends were staying with you. If you think it will be too much of a squeeze, we will just stick with the original plan.