The Petty Archives

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Rolling Stone #645 - December 10, 1992

While the nation stayed glued to televisions, watching the Los Angeles riots, residents of that city sat more paralyzed than anyone. For Tom Petty, the feeling of helplessness transformed itself into "Peace in L.A.," a single he wrote and had on the airwaves within two days of the outbreak of violence. "There was nothing I could do, but I didn't want to just sit and watch TV," Petty said. "Once I had the song, I thought it would be of no use if we didn't put it on the radio right away. I knew I had only a quarter of an hour to write it. I wasn't thinking about anything but getting it out."