Tom Petty Week: Day 4 – Petty’s death and what happened next

In his final blog post of the week, Michael talks about the plans he had to interview Tom Petty, and how his book changed after Petty’s sudden death. I signed the contract to write Southern Accents in November of 2016. In early 2017 I reached out to Petty’s camp to see if he would be willing to meet with me. I waited those couple of months because I wanted to be sure of what I thought about the record. I didn’t want Petty to have an outsize influence on my…

Tom Petty Week: Day 3 – My perfect version of Southern Accents

Today, in honor of Tom Petty’s Southern Accents‘s publication date, Michael drafts up what he thinks Southern Accents should have looked like… It’s a bit of a parlor game amongst hardcore Heartbreakers fans to talk about the Southern Accents that could have been. Although I think that there would still be some significant problems with the record even if the most potent and powerful sequence of songs had been included, it’s fun to speculate, to try to make one’s own Southern Accents. Which is what I’m going to do here,…

Tom Petty Week: Day 2 – “The Image of Me” and what could have been

Day 2 of Michael Washburn’s blog takeover! Today, he talks about how the Southern Accents recording sessions “were a bit of a quagmire,” and unravels the riddle of why “The Image of Me” was never included in this album. I mentioned yesterday that Southern Accents is broken backed—it’s almost a couple of different records slammed together. This so puzzling if you look at some of the songs that were cut for the album but then sat aside. For my money many of those songs are better written—and sound better—than many…

Tom Petty Week: Day 1 – Why Southern Accents?

From today until Friday, Michael Washburn will be taking over our blog. Michael’s new 33 1/3 on Tom Petty’s Southern Accents, will be out on Thursday, April 4th, mark your calendars! In his first blog post of the week, Michael dives into why he chose Southern Accents to write about, and how this bizarre, contentious album came to be such a pivotal turning point in Tom Petty’s musical history. Southern Accents? Really? Not Damn the Torpedoes? Not Wildflowers? That was the typical response when I’d tell people which record I…