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According to Tom Petty’s biographer Peter Bogdanovich (from the documentary ‘Running Down a Dream (heavily paraphrased)):
“After their first album, Tom Petty and the band went on tour in the UK and Europe to great popular and critical success. When they returned to the US, they sank back into relative oblivion.
While they were touring the Midwest, they’d wake up in Bum Fuck, Ohio (or wherever (probably in the back of their van)) and someone would say, ‘Are we famous in Iowa yet?”
Well, the real reason Steve and I went to Ireland a couple of weeks ago was to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play in Cork, Ireland. We stayed at the Clarion Cork, a great 4 Star hotel that night, had smoked salmon sandwiches and a bottle of Pinot Grigio for dinner and got Rock & Roll ready to go out.
The Marquee was packed
and it was a great show.
I’d seen them twice before. When I went to the loo, I found myself at the disabled toilet with only a couple of blokes in front of me. We got to chatting. It was their first time and I said “I’ve been to see Tom Petty at the Hollywood Bowl, Raleigh N.C. and, now, Ireland.” One of the guys said, “So you’ve gone from the Beautiful People to the Rednecks to The Irish”. Funny! When he came out of the loo he said ‘I deserve a hug bc I tidied up in there and put the seat down for you”, so we had a cuddle and went our separate ways. I love the camaraderie that occurs at music gigs!
We had great seats with a good view of the stage.
They dug deep and to my surprise and delight played my favourite of their songs, ‘Something Big’ from Hard Promises, 1981. Here’s a vid of this song from their May 2012 Orlando Show.
Of course he finished with ‘American Girl’
So I would say that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are pretty much famous in Cork. Here’s the encore (wrongly attributed to Dublin).
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are my favourite rock band, ever since my big sister gave me a copy of their debut album in 1977 when I inherited her Pioneer stereo. I was 14 and have grown up over the past 34 years listening to their music.
I was pretty excited when I saw an ad in The Guardian that they’d be playing at The Royal Albert Hall this June on their first UK tour in 20 years. I had to work the day tickets went on sale, but I left Steve with strict instructions to get online and at the end of the phone at 9am. He did his best, but tickets sold out in about 10 minutes. I tried to be philosophical and not too bummed about it. After all, I’d seen Tom and the boys at The Hollywood Bowl in the mid 1990′s and again in Raleigh, NC in 2002. As a consolation prize, we bought Peter Bogdanovich’s excellent documentary on The Heartbreakers, “Runnin’ Down a Dream”.
We watched Part One and a week later, planned to watch Part Two. I was on Facebook and decided to post the documentary trailer beforehand. I found it on YouTube and somewhat cynically clicked the ‘On Tour 2012 Buy Tickets’ button. It took me to the Official Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ website. I trawled around in the Tour Dates area and saw that there was a show in Cork, Ireland on 6/8/2012. I said “Whoa, they’re coming back in August!” Steve said “Are you sure it’s not June 8th?”. Ya see, I’m in the middle of two cultures and sometimes forget that the US and the UK transpose the month and day.
Anyhow, long story short, a Cork show had been added in June after their Dublin show. Tickets went on sale the next day and we got ourselves two of ‘em! I’m officially stoked.
So we’re planning a road trip to Southern Ireland for our 2nd wedding anniversary. Steve got a MP3 adaptor for his car cassette deck so we can spin Tom Petty tunes all the way.
‘Night Driver’ was the first one I played. It’s one of my favourites from the Highway Companion album.