Home > Uncategorized > Today was like an unrelenting, cold rain…

Today was like an unrelenting, cold rain…

Today was like an unrelenting, cold rain.

Reported-Shooting-At-Mandalay-Bay-In-Las-Vegas.jpeg.CROP.promo-xlarge2We woke up to the news of yet another mass shooting…..the body count growing steadily as the day progressed. Twenty. 40, 50. At the time I’m writing this, it’s 59 dead. An additional 527 are injured. Both numbers will probably grow. Another pissed off white dude (imagine the Trumpsters if this dude had been black or brown?) with an apparently legal arms cache….this time positioning himself high above the crowd, shooting down into them like fish in a barrel. I won’t bore you with the gun control argument, since this nation watched little children get slaughtered like hogs at Sandy Hook and did nothing. We’ll bicker for a few days on social media and then forget all about Vegas, until somebody else takes on the grisly arithmetic. Trump stopped golfing long enough to bafflingly offer his “warmest condolences” to the families of murder victims. Who says such stupid shit? The man must have been home nursing his Vietnam era heel spurs when they taught empathy at school.

We debate guns when the murdered bodies are still warm. We debate climate change after the hurricanes crash through and we’re picking through the rubble. We offer each other umbrellas when the rain stops. We have the attention span of our President. And of course, we offer a multitude of “thoughts and prayers”, inane gibberish in the face of horrors we’re not brave enough to tackle with actual substance. We do the same things. over and over again, and expect different results. That’s the exact definition of insanity.

It’s disgraceful, but welcome to America, where our politicians are bought and sold like….well…like guns. Washington DC is collectively desperate to avoid being put over Wayne LaPierre’s knee and spanked like misbehaving children. The place is filled with moral degenerates. Fuck them. And fuck the NRA too. They’re no better than ISIS.

Kneeling is unpatriotic. Hoarding enough guns to start a revolution gives the founding fathers a collective red white and blue chubby.

And shame on us. Collectively. We allow it to happen. Over and over. And we elect the same dishonest shitheads, over and over. A nation deserves its elected government. Liberals screech but do nothing, afraid of being mocked by Ted Nugent. Republicans call for MORE guns, afraid of being mocked by Ted Nugent. And the blood money flows into the coffers of both parties. Pay no attention to the man with the automatic weapons behind the curtain.

I’m not sure where we go from here. We can’t slither much lower without digging a trough around ourselves. We literally watch each other get riddled with gunfire and turn the channel. And Puerto Rico? Since we can only handle a single blaring headline at a time, they might have power again in time for the Los Angeles summer Olympic games. Geraldo and Anderson Cooper have left the building….on their way to warmer bodies. Gotta feed the beast bubba.

pettyIn the midst of trying to digest all of this, word starting leaking this afternoon. Tom Petty. Rumors. Cardiac arrest. Life support. What? Everybody ran towards Google. Hoping for a hoax. For fake news. Even the losers get lucky sometimes. But no…..he’s gone. My head is spinning….my heart is colder than it was yesterday. Somebody at work said to me…”how you you make a horrible day even worse? Tell me Tom Petty died..”

I was 13 when “Damn the Torpedoes” was released….my twin brother already had Petty’s first two records. I remember “I Need to Know” blasting out of our basement. But DtT was the rocket fuel. I would listen to (at the time) FM107 to hear “Refugee” and “Don’t Do Me Like That” (always with Pink Floyd tossed in the mix, since “The Wall” was released at the same time…weird the things you remember)….great songs that somehow sounded HUGE on little car radios. Instantly memorable. Perfectly crafted. Glorious noise. And that voice….like some mutant offspring of Dylan and Roger McGuinn. And his secret weapon, guitarist Mike Campbell….a guy good enough to play with ANYBODY…..but who chose to remain a sideman in the Heartbreakers for 40 years. Because if Petty wasn’t the best songwriter and bandleader in America, nobody could come up with anybody better. He was as consistent as the changing seasons, a man for whom “greatest hits” sounded superfluous, so iconic was his catalog. He was so good for so long that we took him for granted. A song like “Free Fallin'” might be the most perfect pop song ever written. It will be on the radio for the next 50 years.

When I listened to Tom Petty I was always lifted. I’m trying to come up with a better way of saying that, but I can’t. The last gig my band played we kicked off the show with “You Wreck Me”. My god…..I felt like I was levitating.

I want to sleep, and wake up to no more dead.

In a bit…

–tf

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Chris Hludzik
    October 3, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Great words, as usual, Tom. Crazy about Vegas, and hard to believe Petty has left us. “Full Moon Fever” is one of my all time favorite albums, and might just be one of the best pop rock records ever made. “Damn The Torpedoes” was actually mastered very loudly for back then, the vinyl was “cut hot” as they say in the business. They probably did that so the songs could have a little more punch on radio (as you mentioned above how they sounded huge). I have the vinyl, it’s pretty loud! But then again, you couldn’t have songs like that any other way.

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