Tom Petty Takes You Inside His Songwriting Craft

Briefly noted: Give this wide-ranging interview with Tom Petty some time. Recorded in 2014, Petty talks with interviewer Jian Ghomeshi about his songwriting craft. The writing of songs, the rehearsal and recording process, the work in the studio, it all gets covered here. As he talks, one thing comes across: Whatever talents he had, Petty put in the hard work. He and the Heartbreakers mastered their instruments, kept getting better, and didn't take short cuts, to the point where they could do magical things together in the recording studio.

Watch Part 1 above, and Part 2 below, where, at one point he says, "I'm doing the best I can. You can't say I didn't try really hard because I'm really trying hard to be good." The value of trying--trying consistently--can never be understated.

Note: Some of the same themes get echoed in Tom Petty's final interview, which he gave to the LA Times last week. You can stream it here.

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Related Content:

A 17-Hour, Chronological Journey Through Tom Petty’s Music: Stream the Songs That Became the Soundtracks of Our Lives

Watch Tom Petty (RIP) and the Heartbreakers Perform Their Last Song Together, “American Girl”: Recorded on 9/25/17

Prince, Joined by Tom Petty, Plays a Mind-Blowing Guitar Solo On “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”


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  • yup yup says:

    Tom Petty had to work hard because he didn’t have the traditional “bad boy” look of a rock star. Especially in a video age, his visuals had to be twice as interesting among a sea of pouting pretty boys. I give him a lot of credit for his staying power and ability to write hooks that appealed to listeners in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and even today. Rest in Peace Tom!

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