Tom Petty, I Still Miss You

I often wonder, as I sit down to spit out a blog – who cares? Who is going to read this? The minutia and ridiculousness of what is in my head doesn’t always strike me as something anybody else is interested in. And this blog is no different. As many of you know, when musician, Tom Petty, died. I took it pretty hard. It can still make me cry if I talk about it. It took months to listen to his music again.

A few months ago, I was notified (FB spying on me again? Or did I put my name on some sad list?) that there would be a boxed set of some previously unreleased Tom Petty material – from his archives. His wife, daughter, and 2 original members of the Heartbreakers (Mudcrutch, too) had mourned their loss by wallowing in their grief and every recording ever made by our fallen hero.

I immediately went to Amazon and pre-ordered. Why? Eff if I know. I don’t buy any music anymore. I pay a streaming service for 24/7 access to almost everything ever released. But, this was something else entirely. Plus, I was mourning. I don’t have to explain.

A few days ago, I received an invitation (FB? Sad list?) to attend the pre-release listening party. I have been to these before. For local bands. Of people I know. And nobody that anybody else knows. This is being held in a handful of places around the country. I almost deleted it. Couldn’t. I also couldn’t think of any reason to go hang out with a bunch of stranger weirdos to listen to some old second-rate music by some old guy who died.

Every time I checked my inbox – it jammed me. I came up with an excuse to go – check out the venue – ha! But, who to go with? The pit viper – has warmed up to me lately and agreed (enthusiastically, I might add) to be my date – which is great – and I am so happy she is willing to go. I asked her if she thought it would be weird – because, for some reason – I sure do. She doesn’t know, but she is up for the adventure. (Maybe my work there is done?)

I love music and musicians. I liked to go to shows. I liked to hang out at local venues and see and be seen. I will make a specific night out to see a certain band, but I am no groupie. And, going to a pre-release listening party of some old crap by some dead dude just smacks of groupie.

For the uninitiated (and everyone else), There are hierarchies in the music business. Kinda like high school. Which is why it is easy to spot and fun and stupid to discuss. I am always digressing. Anyway – the last thing I want to be is a groupie. They are possibly lower than roadies. Yet, here I am. Girl and I are going. I’m looking forward to it. Ultimately – I’ve never been. I have no idea what to expect. It is something new. I am all about new experiences these days. And, Tom is probably the only one I would do this for. 

I started this blog wondering if anyone cares. The answer is yes. Steve Hyden wrote this. About why the box set is so cool and other things Tom Petty related. It is a good blog. I read the entire thing, his crazy minutia and all. Steven Hyden is a music critic who has written for Rolling Stone. I’m in good company. He wrote it. I read it. We couldn’t be the only two. The listening party is tonight. Stay tuned.

 

 

Maria Shriver is One Smart Cookie, Except for that Ahnold Thing

Do you ever wonder why you get the news that you do? Why some stories are reported and others not. Why some stories catch fire and others don’t? Or, why some things are stories at all? I do. I think about shit like that all of the time. I have been thinking about this particular topic since I saw Maria Shriver on the Oprah show a million years ago. She was being asked (for the millionth time, probably) why she didn’t go into politics. She described how she helped on her Uncle Teddy’s campaign and spent a lot of time learning everything she could. The biggest thing she learned (my words, not hers) was that it is not the politicians with the power. The real power, she said, was in the reporter and journalists’ hands. It was the news media who decided what you heard. They are the ones who decide what a story is. They are the ones who decide what and how to cover a story. They are the ones who determine what sound bites, quotes, and excerpts from speeches you hear.

Think about that for a minute. A member of what is arguably the most political family in our country has announced that politicians aren’t #1 in terms of power. Our president can give interviews all day long and he does not determine what makes the evening news or headlines. The media does. My investigation, if you want to call it that, started in earnest when I thought my phone was spying on me. Which we now know is true. With the news it was more subtle.  A few months ago (when I started writing this blog) guns in the classroom was the talk of the town.

https://nypost.com/2018/03/14/teacher-accidentally-fires-gun-in-class-while-teaching-about-gun-safety/

This is the 2nd similar story that has popped up in my news feed. I thought the same thing I thought when I read the first one. -”of course I am going to see this, some idiot said we should have guns in the classroom. Some other idiots needed to demonstrate why this idea is idiotic.”

This happens more often than is coincidental. It happens with all kinds of stories.  Deciphering the news is difficult when you have no idea who or what to believe. This isn’t new or news, but, it sure gets me thinking.

I notice, for example, how both sides of the coin are flipped on controversial headlines. I wonder who is paying whom, who leaked the story to the press, whom the reporter knows, and just how people are connected in the story. I don’t want to know, really. But, it sure makes me doubt what I hear. And, it makes me doubt the dumb things other people report to me as “fact.”

Sometimes after a particularly emotional or touching story, my mind will wonder…what ever happened to…? And then a new story comes along and we are all diverted – like a tennis match. First we look this way, then that way.

Am I late to the party again? Or did I just not peel back all of the layers? Or worse yet – have I become my parents and their parents before them? Am I a crazy conspiracy theorist who trusts no one? Getting older sucks sometimes….

Madonna, Way Before Nirvana

The Material Girl. When she was starting her career, I was in college. I was listening to hard rock and heavy metal radio and she wasn’t exactly, “underground.” My roommate, however, was a HUGE fan. Huge. We had a door sized poster of Madonna’s face hanging in our apartment. (We also had a door poster of Jon Bon Jovi)  My roommate was the rightest republican there ever was. She even worked in our state capitol and had plans to run for office. (I know, I know – how did I end up with a roommate like that?) I was mildly amused that she admired a woman who strutted around wearing a “Boy Toy” belt buckle on stage. That is the main reason that I was not a big fan. I was nobody’s toy. Also, when I looked a little deeper – all I wanted to do was scrub all that smeary meakeup off of her face. Not my cup of tea.

The roommate, though, still idolized. It took several years for me to catch on and catch on I did. When Madonna released the “Justify My Love” on VHS for sale after it was banned on MTV, I decided I was a fan. Talk about a genius marketing move. Impressive. I didn’t love everything she did and frequently disagree with some of the things she stands for. But, here is a woman who made it on her own by herself. She worked hard, made decisions, some amazing decisions, and did everything she could to continue to make herself relevant. Talk about a role model.

Well, she has done it again – https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2018/08/16/madonna-turns-60-revisit-her-painful-lessons-aging-while-female/982562002/

She is raging against the machine – the one that says that women of a certain age should act a certain way and are basically irrelevant. C’mon. Madge isn’t going to take that shit laying down. Where have all you fuckers been?  But, here is the thing, for the first time in our relationship (mine and Madonna’s), we are on the same page. She is saying the things I am saying.

Apparently some are saying she isn’t aging with dignity or grace. What, she is 60? She needs to wear a housecoat, crocs and stay at home crafting? Or doing volunteer work? Who defines and why do we listen?

Who decides when we are irrelevant? I have been saying for years that I am so tired of being treated like I am invisible.  I have just hit my stride – who is going to tell me my voice isn’t important? Okay, I think we all know it isn’t important – yet. But, when did a number determine when I had to silence it or use it in a different way?

I don’t want anyone to tell me what to wear or not to wear, what to say, who decided we had to: be pretty? Wear makeup? Get botox? Look young? How many men do this? I could age rage forever. You get the picture. 

Madonna doesn’t need my support, but – Rock on, Sister Queen. Fuck ’em.