The Petty Archives

Tom Petty to Q-104: Nothing Personal
By David Hinckley
New York Daily News - Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Tom Petty won't back down. But occasionally, he may issue a clarification.

That's what he has done for WAXQ (104.3 FM), the classic-rock station, after it expressed concern about the title track from his new CD, "The Last DJ."

A sharp swipe at what happens to radio creativity when corporations impose cookie-cutter playlists and silence the deejays, "The Last DJ" goes, in part:

"Well the top brass don't like him talking so much
And he won't play what they say to play
And he don't want to change what don't need to change
And there goes the last DJ
And there goes your freedom of choice
There goes the last human voice
There goes the last DJ"

"It's a great record," says WAXQ program director Bob Buchmann. "But even though we give our jocks plenty of room to play requests and speak, we were a little nervous listeners might think this song was aimed at us."

So Buchmann rang up Petty "and asked if he could cut a spoken intro saying that's not the case. Honestly, I wasn't sure how he'd respond. But he was great. Two days later we had it in-house."

In fact, says Buchmann, "He went further than we asked. He thanks us for playing the record. So it's turned into a positive for everyone. This is a great time for new music from classic artists anyhow, with U2, Pearl Jam, the Pretenders, Springsteen, the Stones, and we certainly want Petty in the mix. We're very comfortable with playing it now."

Buchmann adds that Petty has said the song is not specifically aimed at radio so much as it's addressing the larger problem of stifling corporate control.