I have a long-standing hatred for Tom Petty. I can’t stand him. I know tons and tons of people love him, and I don’t care if he was in the Traveling Wilburys with the Great Bob (as I like to refer to Bob Dylan). That was when Dylan was “lost”. But back to Petty. No one has ever made a career out of such mediocrity. He had one great song – “American Girl”. Now that is song. But the rest of his career could be summed up by being sublimely boring.
And to me, being boring is the worst offense in music. His music isn’t great, it’s not terrible. It just is. For instance, if a song is genuinely awful, there’s a knee-jerk reaction of, “Jesus Christ! That song is terrible! Goddamn, I want those 4 minutes of my life back!” If a song is mediocre, you’re just left wondering what just happened, and you can’t remember a thing about the song.
For some odd reason though, Tom Petty is God incarnate for Open-Mic night. (Which by the way, is also the worst offender for live entertainer. I’d rather take Karaoke over Open-Mic night. At least the people are entertaining.) Open-Mic seems to attract every earnest wannabe with a guitar. And they seem to love Tom Petty. I never knew Tom Petty was such a hero until I became 21. Over the years, I must have heard at least 200 different versions of “Learning to Fly” and “Free Fallin'”.
If Tom Petty is God for the Open-Mic night, the Foo Fighters are a demi-god of some sort. Anyone with a guitar that is 25 and under, seems to think that “Everlong” is the greatest song ever written. Can that song be banned for the next 25 years? Please?