Die hard rock ‘n’ roll fan or not, chances are your love of music was impacted in some way by Tom Petty—and his passing earlier this fall was deeply upsetting to his many fans. We miss him too and so wanted to revisit this great piece in LA Weekly from 2008, “Tom Petty’s Los Angeles.”
What a long, strange trip it’s been
As author Daphne Carr points out in her first line, “There exists in sound a map of Los Angeles, filled with song-lyric street names, neighborhoods, beaches, bars, empty spaces and spaces between spaces”—and that map includes a snapshot of decades of Tom Petty’s life and work.
From the moment Petty took a cross-country trip to LA intent on getting a record deal, his career can be traced through our familiar streets; the City of Angels is intrinsically tied to him. A few highlights we found interesting:
- “Into the Great Wide Open” was inspired by the Sunset Strip. A few years later, Tom Petty played the charity opening for the Viper Room—owned by Johnny Depp, who starred in the music video for the song.
- The infamous Mulholland Drive closes the final verse of the wildly popular “Free Fallin’” and is featured prominently in the closing scenes of the music video, which initially takes place in Reseda.
- During the LA riots in the early 90s, Tom Petty recorded “Peace in LA” to fund charitable donations to organizations in East LA.
- The House of Blues has a long, interesting history of hosting some incredible musicians—and two came together one night in the late 90s. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers backed Johnny Cash, and Petty met the love of his life that night.
We highly recommend reading the full article for a greater glimpse of Los Angeles’ history and the life of a rock legend—and hitting up a few of your favorite local spots to see where it all happened.
As DJs in Los Angeles, it’s clear we are all big music lovers. While our musical tastes range far and wide, we have all been touched by Tom Petty’s legacy, and we wish his family and those who loved him condolences.