2000s
The Petty Archives

Fighting the Good Fight
By Jim Farber
New York Daily News - Sunday, October 6, 2002

Back with a new LP, Tom Petty rips into the corruption of pop culture
Tom Petty gets to play pop critic on his new album and he's not giving out many good reviews.

On "The Last DJ," Petty paints a world of increasingly cynical radio stations, exploitative record companies, greedy managers and shallow musicians, a world where the sort of real artists and earnest fans he knew in his youth are marginalized.

"I feel so sorry for the younger generation being turned on to music right now," Petty says. "I wonder if they're being offered anything that's that good. Or if they even know how good things can be."

Petty on music's 'angel whores,' greedy execs
By Tom Moon
The Philadelphia Inquirer - October 6, 2002

Is America willing to spend its hard-earned cash to hear a rock star rail about how craven pop culture has become? Tom Petty is about to find out.

On his acidic concept album The Last DJ, which arrives Tuesday, the famously laid-back, Florida-born rocker bemoans an entertainment industry that markets soft-porn "angel whores" and executives whose mantra is "You get to be famous, I get to be rich."

In songs plainspoken and devastatingly direct, Petty laments the corporatization of radio and the greed that stunts artistic careers, the worship of false American Idols, and the profit-at-any-cost orientation that derailed Enron and, he believes, exists throughout the business world.

"It's reached absurd levels," Petty said last week of the cynicism that pervades the entertainment industry. "When you're creating your pop stars on a game show on TV, you know something's wrong. Not only are you really insulting people who have put their [lives] into their art," he said, but it cheats the audience.

More than Petty gripe
By Joel Selvin
The San Francisco Chronicle - October 6, 2002

Venerable musician is again making waves -- and sense
Tom Petty is mad as hell and he is not going to take it anymore.

He calls his new album, "The Last DJ," a "loose concept album" where Petty blasts corporate greed in the Clear Channel era of the music business on sharp, pointed songs like "Dreamville," "Money Becomes King" or the title track with the ringing chorus "there goes the last DJ who plays what he wants to play and who says what he wants to say."

"I'm fed up with the world," Petty said. "I'm not really attacking the music business. That would be like shooting fish in a barrel. It would be too easy a target. I use them more as a metaphor for what's going on everywhere, in all the businesses, in all our lives. There's just this missing element of truth. Perhaps there's a little bit of a moral dilemma. That might be more of what I'm trying to say in general. We've hit a point where I'm not sure we care about each other. I miss that."

Tom Petty lays out his case in song
By Tom Moon
The Baltimore Sun - October 8, 2002

Is America willing to spend its hard-earned cash to hear a rock star rail about how craven pop culture has become? Tom Petty is about to find out.

On his acidic concept album, The Last DJ, which arrives today, the famously laid-back Florida-born rocker bemoans an entertainment industry with executives whose mantra is, "You get to be famous, I get to be rich."

In songs plainspoken and devastatingly direct, Petty laments the corporatization of radio and the greed that stunts artistic careers, the false worship of American Idols and the profit-at-any-cost orientation that derailed Enron and, he believes, exists throughout the business world.

"It's reached absurd levels," Petty said of the cynicism that pervades the entertainment industry. "When you're creating your pop stars on a game show on TV, you know something's wrong. Not only are you really insulting people who have put their [lives] into their art," he said, but it cheats the audience.

Nudist Group: 'Tom Petty: We Want You ... Naked"
NCBuy - October 8, 2002

Kissimmee, FL -- Members of a nudist group says they want to take off their hats -- not to mention the rest of their clothes -- to Tom Petty.

Erich Shuttauf of the American Association for Nude Recreation says his organization is overjoyed Petty has been telling talk show hosts like Katie Couric that his new record, "The Last DJ," "is perfect for dancing naked around the house."

Shuttauf says because of this, the AANR is offering an open invitation for "nude-recreation-friendly" Petty to play at an upcoming meeting of the board of trustees Nov. 19-23.

Members would be delighted if Petty played -- especially in the nude -- but if he can't make it, he's invited to any other club sanctioned event he'd wish to attend.

Also, Shuttauf says it's personal for him, because he's been "dancing naked to Petty in his own bedroom since high school."

Petty's "The Last DJ" hits stores today (Oct. 8).

Petty Strikes Gold by Panning Greed Of The Music Biz
By Jim Abbott
Orlando Sentinel - October 8, 2002

There's already a long list of rock stars who have tilted at the windmill of the music industry's stifling corporate structure, but the topic is more timely than ever in this era of bottom-line media consolidation.

Unfortunately, even the most articulate rants can grow tiresome to fans, like listening to millionaire athletes demand more money.

That makes The Last DJ, Tom Petty's 30th studio album (in stores today), an inspired anomaly for looking at the issue from the cheap seats rather than the back of a limo. Occasionally, the rhetoric still sounds strident, but it's obvious that Petty and the Heartbreakers remember and honor rock's irreverent spirit.

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On his new CD, Petty rips today's pop culture
By Jim Farber
Gainesville Sun - October 9, 2002

Gainesville's own Tom Petty gets to play pop critic on his new album -- and he's not giving out many good reviews.

On "The Last DJ," Petty paints a world of increasingly cynical radio stations, exploitive record companies, greedy managers and shallow musicians, a world where the sort of real artists and earnest fans he knew in his youth are marginalized.

"I feel so sorry for the younger generation being turned on to music now," Petty says. "I wonder if they're being offered anything that's that good. Or if they even know how good things can be."

New Albums
By Randy Lewis
The Los Angeles Times - October 10, 2002

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, "The Last DJ," Warner Bros. Petty has always seemed to have more in common with Joe Rock Fan than the larger-than-life stars with whom he shares Rock and Roll Hall of Fame membership. It's no surprise, then, that the anger, frustration and sadness over the state-of-the-rock-union in this loosely thematic album reflect the view of the disheartened classic-rock fan more than that of the jaundiced rock star. The album works on a number of levels, but the ambition behind the songs and the off-the-cuff production don't slap you in the face. Petty brings a disarming, regular-guy passion to his treatise, invoking many of his '60s and '70s rock heroes along the way.

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Tom Petty's peeved -- and he won't back down
By Steve Morse
Herald-Journal - October 10, 2002

'THE LAST DJ': Rock rebel uses his latest album to sound off against greed
Dear corporate America: Tom Petty doesn't like you. For years, Petty has been a rock revel who has fought for his rights and lashed out at te big-business concerns that are turning artists into mere numbers on an accountant's ledger sheet.

And he sharpens his focus even more on his new album, "The Last DJ," in which he and his band, the Heartbreakers, attack corporate radio stations and record labels as well as greedy rock stars who cave in to sponsorships, high ticket prices, and "golden circle" seating.