Rock Music Still Troubling Candidates
The Island Packet - Friday, February 8, 2008
This week, singer John Mellencamp politely asked Republican frontrunner John McCain to knock off using his song "Our Country" at campaign appearances, which is no surprise: Anyone remotely familiar with Mellencamp's political leanings would know that he's about as likely to endorse a conservative candidate as he would be to record a New Kids on the Black cover. But McCain is hardly the first candidate to run into trouble regarding the selection of campaign songs:
"American Girl," Tom Petty
Used By: Hillary Clinton (2008)
What the song sounds like to a candidate: Girl power.
What the song is actually about: Guys are jerks. Some people think it's about suicide, which is rarely an association you want with your campaign. Also, Jeff Spicoli is wasted.
Better choice for campaign song: "Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones, because, hey, remember the '90s? And how good things were? I wonder who was in charge then ...
Editor's Note: This is an April Fool's joke which is silly enough to include.
Art professor pegged for film superstardom
By Luke "The Chief" Tatge
The Augustana Mirror - Tuesday, April 1, 2008
In a move of absolute artistic brilliance, art professor Scott Parsons was chosen to portray legendary rocker Tom Petty in the upcoming biopic Learning to Fly, directed by Oliver Stone.
Parsons was spotted during a casting call at the Empire Mall in which applicants were asked to play "Mary Jane's Last Dance" with wooden spoons in front of Auntie Anne's Pretzels.
Parsons was the standout, as Stone called him "an absolute vision" and "a truly multi-faceted talent."
Though Parsons could not be reached for comment as filming has begun, sources for the Smirror say the fledging actor will certainly be a Hollywood "heartbreaker."
The film will open in Russia in December 2010.
Music review: Tom Petty resurrects Mudcrutch
By Joel Selvin
The San Francisco Chronicle - April 18, 2008
Tom Petty clearly loved every minute onstage with Mudcrutch Wednesday in the first of two sold-out shows at the Fillmore Auditorium. "Having the band back together is beyond our wildest dreams," he told the crowd. "We've made a new album and we're going to play every track on the album."
Few of his fans even knew that Tom Petty and fellow Heartbreakers first played together in a band called Mudcrutch. The band spent years in their hometown Gainesville, Fla., finally moving to Los Angeles, where the group broke up in 1975 after releasing one single.
Running Down a Dream Deferred
By Alan Light
The New York Times - April 20, 2008
Van Nuys, Calif. -- A band of five middle-aged men was warming up for rehearsal in a cluttered one-room studio, bashing out an unadorned version of "Shake, Rattle and Roll." Two men, both named Tom, stepped to the microphones to harmonize on the song's chorus. The clean-shaven one, playing rhythm guitar, spends most of his days working as a music teacher in suburban Nashville. The bearded, bass-playing Tom is one of the biggest rock stars in the world, who has sold more than 50 million records, has been nominated for 18 Grammy Awards and was most recently seen headlining the halftime show at the Super Bowl.
Thirty-two years after the band broke up, Tom Petty has reassembled Mudcrutch, the group he started in his native Gainesville, Fla., and moved to Los Angeles, seeking stardom. Mudcrutch didn't hit it big back in the 1970s, but out of the band's ashes Mr. Petty created the Heartbreakers, who have generated a staggering stream of hits for three decades.
Tom Petty digs up his old roots
By Robin Honig
The Christian Science Monitor - April 25, 2008
Thirty-three years after they split up, Petty has reunited his first band, Mudcrutch.
Mudcrutch (Warner Bros.): You're forgiven if you've never heard of this grungy-named group from Gainesville, Fla., who released several unsuccessful singles before disbanding in 1975. But you won't mistake the distinctive voice of Tom Petty. Thirty-three years later, Petty has reunited Mudcrutch, an early incarnation of the Heartbreakers that included Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench. The band's belated first album – due for an April 29 release – is a return to its roots, a freewheeling mix of country, bluegrass, and rockabilly. Folk standard "Shady Grove," showcases the wicked fingerpicking skills of guitarists Tom Leadon and Campbell. Boogie gem "This Is a Good Street" offers a rare, gritty vocal performance by keyboardist Tench. Drummer Randall Marsh provides a steady anchor for Petty who has traded his Rickenbacker for bass yet retains his signature sound. "Scare Easy," for instance, recalls "I Won't Back Down" and "Bootleg Flyer" echoes "American Girl." A solid debut from a bunch of old pros.
Tom Petty having a blast with Mudcrutch reunion
By Erik Pedersen
Reuters - Sunday, April 27, 2008
LOS ANGELES - "This is such a trip," bassist Tom Petty said from the Troubadour stage. "I gotta get used to this."
If some elements of that sentence caught many folks off guard -- bassist Tom Petty at the Troubadour? -- so did Friday's joyful show by Mudcrutch, the decades-dormant precursor to the Heartbreakers. The presence of three Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in the tiny setting basically guaranteed a memorable night out, but the band's songs and performance made it that much more. And it was enhanced by the broad smiles, nostalgic chemistry and obvious fun being had onstage.
Tom Petty returns to his roots with Mudcrutch
By Geoff Boucher
The Los Angeles Times - April 27, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO -- The misadventure began, as so many do, in a dingy Florida strip club. This one was called Dub's, and it was cinder-block roadhouse in Gainesville where, in the early 1970s, a dancer named Bubbles shimmied for students, townies and truck drivers while a band with the unfortunate name of Mudcrutch played muscular music that melded old-man country with new-kid rock. It was a Southern solution to the British Invasion.
Mudcrutch was better than good too. They did five shows a day, six nights a week and, by all accounts, they were the second most interesting thing on stage. Everyone predicted the scruffy kids would be stars someday.
That didn't happen, at least not the way anyone expected.
Review: Mudcrutch album a standout
By Bill Dean
Gainesville Sun - Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Comparing the sound of Mudcrutch, Tom Petty's storied band in Gainesville, with that other group that made a name for itself in California, is like, well, comparing the high-lonesome, home-brewed sounds of North Central Florida with the California-mellow groove that Petty played no small role in popularizing.
Recorded in just over two weeks in August of last year, the first - and only full - released album by Mudcrutch, the self-titled new album, which is released today, will be a revelation, both for locals who remember the original band and its performances at places like the "Mudcrutch Farm" or at Dub's Steer Room, as well as listeners who've only heard the stories of Petty's beginnings in his hometown.
Right place, time for Mudcrutch
Review by Randy Lewis
The Los Angeles Times - April 29, 2008
Mudcrutch | "Mudcrutch" | (Reprise) | ★★★
Mudcrutch -- consisting of pre-Heartbreakers members Tom Petty, Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, along with Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh -- never managed to release an album despite a regional following in Florida in the early '70s.
Had the group as it sounds in these 14 songs (in stores today) appeared back then, it might well have gone little noticed amid the proliferation of bands that were mixing rock, country, bluegrass and folk traditions. Today, however, it's a breath of fresh air. It's rock the old-school way -- born of real-time collaboration and realized with heaps of joy and sweat.