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.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

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”

by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (1)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • 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!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.