If the question you’re looking to answer is “Who is the greatest songwriter?” The obvious answer is Bob Dylan. With his profound knowledge of literature, absurd mastery of the language, and his acerbic wit it’s hard to think anyone could do it any better. And you wouldn’t be wrong. If I’m alone in a room and want to listen to something, Dylan is a fine choice. But his songs aren’t exactly great for groups. No, for that another name comes to mind-Tom Petty.
Over the past 4 decades I can’t think of anyone who’s served as the soundtrack for American good times like Petty and his band The Heartbreakers. They just find the perfect groove that forces your mouth to sing along with every tune. It’s probably the reason I’ve seen at least 3 bands cover “American Girl” in the past year, and most likely the reason I loved all 3 of them.
The Best Fest (sponsored by Jameson) is putting on a show (a series of shows, actually) dedicated to Petty and his amazing craft. Petty Fest hit LA last week, and will be here in Chicago on April 23rd with musicians like Jakob Dylan, Allison Mosshart, John Stirrat and Pat Sansone (both of Wilco), Cory Chisel, Brendan Benson and a whole slew of others that want to get together and celebrate Tom Petty’s greatness. In the past they’ve also put other Petty Fests as well as a Dylan Fest and a Stones Fest, and they look like a blast from the pics and videos I’ve seen.
Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you-that’s Nick Valensi of The Strokes jamming with Captain Jack Sparrow himself, mister Johnny Depp on “Honey Bee.”
If you live in or around Chicago and you haven’t bought tickets to this, you need to quit being silly and snatch em up. Click HERE and then get yours before they’re gone!
Now here are my ten favorite Petty songs (both with the band and solo).
10. You Wreck Me
9. All Or Nothin’ (I couldn’t find a video for this one by Petty, so here’s the Denver School Of Rock kids doing it instead)
8. Here Comes My Girl
7. Runnin’ Down A Dream
6. The Waiting
4. Even The Losers
2. American Girl
1. You Got Lucky
Honorable Mention: Southern Accents