“Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person.”
A bright light has gone out.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said a thousand times by people more qualified than me? Tom Petty was a true artist, and even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I’ve spent the last few days actively grieving his passing. Tom Petty‘s music is Americana at its best. He was a gifted storyteller, with a knack for expressing deep, universal truths with a distinctive turn of phrase. Tom Petty was able to unify people through his music in a way that we are currently in desperate need of in this country: he spoke to all of us, and he spoke for all of us.
He was prolific, he was unique, his later work was just as relevant and strong (if not stronger than) his early work, and he did it all on his own terms. You might not be familiar with Petty’s later work (he went from being a radio darling to a radio pariah after releasing The Last DJ, a scathing attack on the music industry that resulted in his newer songs being largely ignored), but I urge you to seek it out. Highway Companion elevated Petty to elder statesman status, Mojo is a celebration of the blues, and 2014’s Hypnotic Eye is proving to be a prophetic take on the current climate.
Tom Petty made the world a better place through his music. In short, he achieved everything an artist hopes to achieve…and I’m eternally grateful for the gifts he’s left us.
Please revisit this post I wrote back in March of 2016…I’m pretty sure I’ll be taking that Warren Zanes biography for another spin before too long.
i need to know
I was fortunate enough to spend last week traveling around New England with friends and family, seeing concerts and exploring different locales. It seems appropriate that we made time to stop in to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to check out “Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design”!
“Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design” only takes up one room, but the space is filled with posters, album covers, and photographs all from (and inspired by) the Haight-Ashbury counter-culture scene. It’s hard to believe this work is 50 years old! I loved this show. The bright colors and the bold images really appeal to me (which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with my paintings), and since I’m a huge fan of music, it makes me happy that album covers and concert posters are being celebrated as art.
By the way, whoever decided where “Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design” was to be set up in the museum is a genius: the room you walk through to get to the Edward and Nancy Roberts Family Gallery contains art and artifacts from the Americas…and quite a bit of the work on display is musical (and psychedelic) in nature! Check out some of these instruments…
…and how about this piece?
So, if you find yourself in Boston sometime soon, stop in to the MFA for a couple of hours…you never know what connections you might make! “Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design” runs through October 22nd.
Neil Young is an artist who has always been known for speaking his mind. You can find all kinds of examples of protest/political songs throughout his long and varied career: “Ohio” from 1970, “This Note’s For You” from 1988, and “Rockin’ In The Free World” from 1989, just to name a few.
I was fortunate enough to see Neil Young perform live several years ago. I thought it would be a “standard” concert, filled with a bunch of hits and a few rarities sprinkled in here and there. What I did see was much more like a play or a Broadway musical than a typical rock and roll show. This was the “Greendale” tour, and although I was initially thrown off by what I wasn’t seeing, I quickly got sucked in to the story, the visuals, and most importantly, the music. Simply put, “Greendale” tells the tale of a small town, a family, and activism…not exactly passive listening.
On a recent trip to Curtis Memorial Library, I was walking past the graphic novel section when something caught the corner of my eye:
I didn’t know that “Greendale” had been turned into a graphic novel, but it lends itself to the medium beautifully: the illustrations are gorgeous, and the story is told in a clear and concise manner. I ripped right through this book, and it inspired me to revisit Neil Young’s CD as well. Thanks to Curtis Memorial Library, you can do the same! “Greendale” is a town that is worth the trip.