Tuesday, December 06, 2005

How Do You Define Respect?

These last two weeks, in-between work, checking blogsites for Mets updates, and waiting for new Aqua Teen Hungerforce episodes, I have been reading a new book by Paul Zollo titled, "Conversations With Tom Petty." I will post a review of the book when I'm done with it, but today I wanted to post a cool quote I read from a different Tom Petty interview with Billboard Magazine's Melinda Newman. Tonight Tom Petty will recieve The Century Award, recognizing his incredible music career. Her entire, lengthy, interview with Tom can be read in the news section of www.TomPetty.com, but my favorite part was Tom talking about his most recent album, The Last DJ:

Q: Do you think [The Last DJ] did not do well because it was not what people expect from Tom Petty?

A: Well, too bad, you're going to have to take what he gives you. I don't give a damn what you want.

Q: Yes, you do. You have just spent hours talking about the respect you have for your audience.

A: Yes, well, that is respecting them. If I disrespected them, I would pander to them, but I don't. I never have, and I'm never going to. If you just think I'm going to sing "Refugee" every time, I'm not going to do it. I'm too old for that now.

Q: What do you want to do?

A: I'm more interested in what I'm going to leave behind me now than in making a big hit record. I've refined what I do for a long time. If getting better at it means it goes over the heads of those who only wanted to party, then so be it.

Q: There is a great line in the song "Joe" on "The Last DJ" that says, "We could move more catalog if he'd only die quicker." So death really is a good career move.

A: Well, you always sell more. It's just a downright vicious song. It's black, black humor. I think I was hurt inside that you guys fucked this up, just the business in general, you fucked up this beautiful thing, this music that spoke for people. You turned it into this thing that nobody trusts, and it's, like, all for money. Like you weren't making enough money.

Q: What can we expect from your next solo album, "Highway Companion," when it comes out next year?

A: It has a lot to say about time and the passage of time. It's not so much love songs, it's not going to be what anybody expects from me, I'm sure of that. But it's good music, it's really good music.

Q: Do you see a day where you do not make music anymore?

A: My wife will tell you I'm not any happier anywhere than when I'm in the studio. I'm over the moon about it. It keeps me young, it keeps me feeling like I have some purpose. There's some reason this stuff is coming through me. So I don't intend to quit.
Check out the Billboard Awards tonight on FOX. where Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong will present the Century Award to Tom Petty.

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