How Elvis Presley made Tom Petty fall in love with music


(Photo credit: Far Out / Ирина Лепнёва / Tzali)


Tom Petty and Elvis Presley are poster boys from America. Both have used the beating heart of the country to fuel their music, even though they are on separate ends of the creative spectrum, painting different images of the nation that made them what they were to become.

While Presley passed away in 1977, just a year earlier, Petty made her scintillating arrival in 1976 with her debut. Over the next 40 years, he would carve out a niche for himself that was incomparable and entirely unique to Petty. While all young musicians wished they could be Tom Petty, there was only one original, but a handful of people helped shape his artistry.

Without a doubt, he is recognized as one of the greatest American songwriters of all time. In addition, he continually operated from the outside, seeking inward, expertly creating mainstream hits from the periphery. Like many of his counterparts, Petty had a distinct sound, a sound he had refined to the end and with which he had religiously bonded over the course of his career to leave a permanent mark on the music.

Like many people the same age as Petty, Elvis was his first introduction to the debauched world of rock ‘n’ roll. Before Petty’s eyes and ears caught the “King’s” attention, he had an innocent childhood in Gainesville, but it came to an abrupt end after hearing Presley’s evil tones.

In 2014, Petty spoke with Radio-Canada and talked about his first love of Elvis. The musician lit a fire in his stomach, a fire that would change the meaning of his life even though Petty was well aware of it at the time. “Elvis was before the Beatles,” Petty explained. “My photo of Elvis was the American dream. Elvis was a kid from the south who had broken all the rules, he had become his own man and seemed to do whatever he wanted whether the adults wanted it or not, ”he said with a laugh. ironic.

“It was kind of the image I had, but it didn’t sound like anything you could be to me. Be Elvis? Nobody ever did that, you’d have to be Elvis. It should look like this first, and the bands should come out of the grove and go to the beach. It just doesn’t happen, but the Beatles looked like something you could do to me, ”he added.

Even though there was something unattainable about Elvis from the start, Petty couldn’t hold back her worship. However, in his heart he knew that a child like him could never be in line with the throne. Yet Elvis was his first gateway to music, the one that sent him to a rabbit hole where he explored, experienced, and ultimately discovered his own voice.

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