I think Tom Petty (RIP) is overrated


Chuckling at someone else, I guess.

you’re welcome

No, seriously. College radio hosts get off on stuff like that. Guys who can call in and talk about how popular musicians are actually overrated and spout bumper sticker philosophy are rare currency on the campus quad.

Plus you’ll actually get to talk to the guys who “notably” spoke well of Petty rather than relying on us. There’s really no downside here.

Can I ask you a question:

What do you think the purpose is of a site like this?

So you got no dog in the hunt here huh? That’s good to know. You sure don’t act like that.

I’m going to start asking people here (and I’m going to get a macro for it):

What is the purpose of this site?

I think that since his music is well-known and reasonably well-liked it should be wholly unsurprising that people had nice things to say about it after Tom Petty died. The response to his death has been so normal and unremarkable that I find it difficult to believe that it’s really some big mystery to you.

It would be fine with me if you stopped talking about Tom Petty though, as you obviously have nothing interesting to say about him.

How do you know you experienced his death like everyone else?

But anyway, let’s avoid the essay stuff. What are you really trying to say? There is a dark reason why I wanted to talk about this?

If you’re accusing this thread of being vapid, I don’t agree, for me, but for you, what can I say? Don’t contribute to it?

But there are subtexts to this one. And it has to do with your feelings about tom petty, right?

You are inviting me to not post? You represent the site in these affairs?

Tell me about the meaning and values of the site.

How else will people know that this thread is overrated?

I mean, sure, no one here was saying that this thread was amazing but I saw a guy on Twitter say something.

On a more positive note, I do like how you keep quoting and responding to my same posts multiple times as some new comeback jumps to mind. Reminds me of George Costanza, “Yeah, well, the jerk store called…” :smiley:

I apologize if I was unclear. I was suggesting that you stop talking unless you have something interesting to say, and offering my opinion that nothing you’ve said here has been interesting. I regret the time that I have already spent interacting with you, so I think I will take your advice and stop contributing to this boring and rather distasteful thread.

What is distasteful about this? I am furthering the mission here. How very negative of you to not even deign to discuss the music if you’re going to spend time here.

Your posts have been vapid. But not everyone’s have been.

And there is a great subtext here of how you feel about TP, and why you are here or even care at all if you won’t discuss the…never mind

I would assume the purpose is to
Invite discussion. But discussion usually invites some give and take, and what I’m seeing is further entrenchment of a fairy narrow view. I assumed you wanted us to persuade you why Tom Petty is not overrated, but you really don’t appear to be interested in that.


A discussion about whether a particular artist is overrated is perfectly appropriate for Cafe Society. A discussion about whether a particular discussion is appropriate for Cafe Society should be in private messages with the moderators, or, if it absolutely must be a thread, ATMB. A discussion about how a particular poster is behaving within a particular thread should be in the Pit.

I think there might still be some actual discussion to be had in this thread, so I’ll leave it open for now. But further digressions on the thread itself, by Jophiel, Lamia, drad dog, or anyone else, will not be tolerated.

I was kind of surprised at how much I cared when Tom Petty died.

I love the Replacements, and if I listen to radio at all, it’s independent and college stations. But seriously, the Replacements are critical darlings, a band other musicians call an influence – but a band most people, even people who were teenagers on the punk scene in the 80s, might not know a single song by. I’ve started discussing the Replacements with people a couple of times and a within few minutes I realized they were getting confused with that 90’s band from Arizona, The Refreshments. They just weren’t that famous. They had a big reputation, but they weren’t the soundtrack to anyone’s lives.

But Tom Petty was the opposite. He was on the radio. He was on MTV. He was played at barbecues and homecoming festivals and by cover bands in local bars and on soundtracks to major movies. I saw him interviewed on so many music documentaries of bands and musicians and time periods that he must have been a rock historian. I never saw anyone wear a Tom Petty t-shirt, especially not the “cool kids”, but everybody knew who he was and knew his songs. Little kids knew Tom Petty songs, and so did their grandmothers. My second grade teacher (the year Full Moon Fever came out) always talked about how he was her favorite musician and she had a huge crush on him, too.

So, no matter what else you might say about him, he was the soundtrack to people’s lives. And that’s important, even if he wasn’t the next Mozart or even Paul McCartney. His songs were catchy, they were fun, and there were a lot of them. That can cause some complacency after 40 years of hearing them in the background of your life. But after he died, going back and listening to him with fresh ears, you realize how good those songs were. Or I did, at least. They were meaningful, well crafted, well performed and they had staying power.

He may not have invented a genre, or blazed a trail a generation of musicians jumped into and spent years fleshing out. He stuck close to his rock roots. But in my opinion, there’s something to be said for extreme competence. He didn’t push that many boundaries or start a musical revolution. He did the same sort of thing many other in the business did. But he did it very well. And that still counts for a lot, in my opinion.

The Refreshments? Were you speaking with people from that general area, because that’s a band I’ve never heard of.

I don’t necessarily agree strictly that the Replacements weren’t the soundtrack to anyone’s lives. I didn’t really listen to them until much later, but when I was in high school in the late 80s/early 90s, there were kids who were into the 'mats. And, mainstream wise, almost everybody knew Paul Westerberg, at least, from the Singles soundtrack and “Dyslexic Heart” and maybe “Waiting for Somebody.” So, yeah, in 1992 or whenever it was, I knew the Replacements mostly as “that band that Paul Westerberg used to play with.”

The King of the Hill theme song is by The Refreshments. That may be what they’re best known for.

Huh. I had no idea that song was by an established band. On the other hand, before I really solidified in my mind who the Replacements were, I’m pretty sure I had confused them with The Romantics and possibly even The Rembrandts. All those definite article - R bands. Rather embarrassing to admit.

Yep, and “Everybody knows the world is full of stupid people, but I got the pistols, so I get the pesos, yeah that seems fair”. That song was real big in 1997 or so when I was in high school, so maybe it’s mostly my age group that is aware of them. They were actually a really good band, or at least that one album was. Not Replacements-level but definitely enjoyable.

And pulykamell, that’s about what I figured. The Replacements got more famous after they broke up. And their reputation grew and grew until they got back together for a show a few years ago and now they make a ton of money doing one or two festivals a year. They’re pretty huge now, as influential elder statesmen of alternative rock, but in 1989, more people probably knew all the lyrics to “Won’t Back Down” by heart than had ever heard of Westerberg or the Mats.