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Running Down A Dream

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Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers are playing a series of shows at the Fonda this April and it’s looking like tickets are upwards of $400. If Petty is running down a dream of earning giant mounds of cash, I think he can quit dreaming.

I was a little surprised to see the prices. I figured maybe I could find something for eighty or so dollars. He’s playing so many shows there. It doesn’t seem fair. But I would say that he has inspired me to be tenacious and to keep moving forward in times of adversity. My life hasn’t always been easy and even now in times of prosperity I find that I have difficult challenges ahead. And when that magical song comes on the radio and reminds me of a time before Tom Petty was rich or famous or a house hold name, he was just some kid with a guitar running down a dream and writing brilliant songs.

He was always hanging around Dylan and the Byrds but they just thought he was a copycat version of themselves and didn’t pay him much attention until his first album in 1976 turned out to be a monster hit. The album didn’t go gold for a couple years. Turns out we’re still listening to “American Girl” today.

I thought it was funny in the 1990’s when Johnny Cash was covering songs like Beck’s Row Boat and Soundgarden’s Rusty Cage, not to mention NIN’s Hurt! Had the old man lost it? Had he finally run out of songwriting steam? Perhaps he had but his cover of running down a dream is pretty sweet. I love the first verse about how Petty’s singing with Del Shanon Little Runaway (a very sentimental song for me) and flying down the road, probably in some relic piece of steel.

In the 90’s when I first became aware of Tom Petty’s music with the hit Free Falling I thought it wasn’t all that great but then I listened to everything else and it turns out that classic rock is the only music for me. So what’s my point? What does this have to do with anything? I saw CSNY for $45 a few years ago and I don’t think Petty or anyone is worth $500 to see them perform. I can’t think of anyone I’d plunk down half a grand to see play a few songs over an hour or two. Can you?

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