Tag: tom petty

[words] rip, ric

under the cold and darkly sky / you trip the light and go…

[medium mirror]

the cars were my fav band growing up. in my high-wire suburban teenage days, their records and lateral solo projects not only were desert island discs, they were my desert island.

the band (driven by ric ocasek’s all-lowercase, overdriven-jangle, and quirky-jerk writing) catalysed my adolescent desire and urgency to learn guitar and to write songs. the whole thing was just endearing, intelligent, and accessible – the good life, a dream away, if there ever was one.

the cars became my crash course in how to bring depth to “disposable” music; that is, how melody married to meaning can court the coolest girls in class.

more importantly over the long-arc of teenage daydreams, some of which linger to this day every time i write and perform, their music spoked out into innumerable other great bands and writers. riding with the cars, in the backseat i discovered roxy music, david bowie, and t-rex; in the side-view mirrors there were robert fripp, steve reich, and john cage; in the passenger seat rode buddy holly, the byrds, and tom petty; and in the way-way-back, crouched flat out of sight of the driver, there were new order, blondie, suicide, the cure, and eventually the ramones, the replacements, and much of what I came to love.

the early 80s was still a world where “intelligent and cool” were a tough tightrope walk. ocasek and the cars hovered over it all, saying, “c’mon, man, the fringe is the cool. one foot in, one foot out — that fine line — that’s the place to be.”

i’m the american misfit kid / still wondering what i did / i’m on the inside, taking a fast ride…

throughout my songwriting life, co-opting the band’s icy reserve, black leather smirk, and reverence for poetic-yet-stuctured rock ’n roll let me embrace any style without care or ambition in my own music.…

continued...

#coverclub

an evolving project since 2006.

1: The Psychedelic Furs
2. Neil Young
3. The Sonics
4. The Grateful Dead
5. The Cure
6. Credence Clearwater Revival
7. The Replacements
8. George Harrison
9. Kris Kristofferson
10. The Postal Service
11. Tom Petty
12. Landon Pigg

more to come…