Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tom Petty / The Last DJ

Tom Petty has been around now for 25+ years. It doesn't seem hardly possible but it's true. He was one of the very few great one's to come along about the same time the '80's arrived. A mostly forgetable decade for a Rock n' Roller. There's darn few tunes that Tom Petty has put on a record in the timespan between '79 and now that I don't know all the words to, but this album is something special. "The Last DJ" came out sometime during 2002 and here it is 2006 and I'm still rockin' out to this bunch of tunes on a weekly basis.

Like myself, Tom Petty has reached the age of official curmudgenoness. He's pissed off and don't really care who knows it. He's here to say what he's got to say, so shut up and listen..............

The Last DJ..... any album that starts off like this......."Well you can't turn him into a company man, you can't turn him into a whore and the boys upstairs just don't understand anymore" is gonna be a no punches pulled ass kickin' event and this tune sets the pace for the whole experience. "There goes your freedom of choice, there goes the last human voice, there goes the last dj" I doubt "the boys upstairs" ever had a freakin clue to start with....
Money Becomes King....a song about the music industry these days with the accent on wasn't that long ago when "We'd all get so excited when John would give a show, we'd raise the cash between us and down the road we'd go, to hear him play that music it spoke right to my soul, every verse a diamond and every chorus gold". Can't tell ya how many times that was the case.....back in the days before money became king.
Dreamville.......a song about younger days and the fact that you just can't go back home again........"a long time ago, a million miles away, all the trees were green, in Dreamville".
Joe.....Fat, stubby, cigar chomping, bad suit wearing jackass who wouldn't know a good tune if it slapped him across his fat chops. "They get to be famous, I get to be rich....My name's Joe, I'm the CEO....I'm the man that makes the big wheels roll". Makes me think Woodstock is just down the road from Dreamville.
When a Kid Goes Bad... "Some momma's cryin', some daddy's sad, when a kid goes bad" I can relate to this one on a fairly personal level at the present time, but I'm hoping things will turn around. Hard these days to listen to this tune and not think of Columbine. Wake up people, environment plays a bigger part in development then you might want to admit. Piling a load of shit in a empty vessel doesn't gaurantee you'll grow flowers...........TV and video game violence aren't exactly driving hordes of kids towards the Peace Corps.
Like A Diamond....a love song amongst all the crap and turmoil. "If you're lonely and behind the wheel, when the ground gives way, you have to pray, to the unknown and hope it's real"
Lost Children...."Lord please watch over all these lost children, born to chase a hurricane. Please shine some light down on those who wander, filled with hunger and pain". This one almost makes me cry. If it wasn't for the guitar break it'd be hard to get thru. I personally dedicate this tune to all parents who are struggling, trying to raise solid children in this fractured world.....
Blue Sunday.....a story about two people on their way to places unknown who find comfort in each other's company for a short while....."When it's time to leave you go.....".
You & Me....I truly love this song and if I have my way whoever is left when I pass on will play this tune at some point during whatever type of ceremony they all decide is appropriate. I doubt I'll care at that point, but I want this song played and played at a decent volume. To really do it right someone should be singing along too in my absense. "Whereever the wind might blow, whereever the river rolls, you know I will go with you, just you and me and the road ahead" If it'd been around when I got married I'd have used it for that event too....... a song for all life.
The Man Who Loves Women...... a "lite" tune. Not sure I understand the real unlying message here, if in fact there is one, but it's a great tune to sing and dance along with, I give it a 8.5!
Have Love Will Travel.......I have some lines from this tune in my sigfile at the current time, but for this entry I'll quote some different that guitar riff........"And if perhaps I lose you, in the smoke down the road, I want you to know, you were the one.....and may my love travel with you everywhere, may my love travel with you always". Another great love song.
Can't Stop The Sun...Talk about ending this masterpiece on a postive note......."You may think it's all over, but there'll be more just like me, who won't give in, who'll rise again, can't stop a man from dreaming, on and on and on................" and then some great guitar just in case there was any doubt at all....(none here Tom).

My only worry at this point is that when the next one (album) comes out it's not gonna live up to expectations after this one. In my eyes he could say "that's it, I've said all I've got to say" and walk off into the sunset but I sure hope that never happens........on the upside I just got an email from his mailing list that says he's touring this summer and by God if he comes anywhere near here I'll be there, up towards the front, one way or another........


UPDATE - 5/19/06

I finally got my copy of the "Live at the Olympic" DVD, which is The Last DJ album in video format. Needless to say it is quite good, although I tend to get irritated with the camera boys cuz they seem to think it's artsy, craftsy to jump from person to person and scene to scene like they're running a machine gun instead of filming a live concert with a camera. Boys, just for the record...... I'd like to actually be able to focus on what the guitar player is doing or watch Tom sing a whole verse without shots of people in the audience sandwiched inbetween every 3.7 seconds.
Other than that one cinematic bitch, I have no complaints with the package. It's great music and very interesting to watch 'em play it live with a full Ochestra and all the trappings. Plus, there's bonus video material. After they get done playing the entire Last DJ album they go on and rock out on 6 more tunes including "Maryjane's Last Dance" & "I Need to Know". Plus.....there's an audio CD with 4 or 5 newer tunes on it. I haven't had a chance to get to that yet, but I will soon.......I'd reccommend this DVD highly if you're any kinda Tom Petty fan at all



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