And much of those last few pages is just the usual pontificatory praise for his legacy in general. Petty: The Biography. Written by hey, let me tell you about my pal, rock star Tom Petty. Petty: The Biography is not that kind Gainesville chapters. An exhilarating and intimate account of the life of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and musician who toured with Petty. Dark and mysterious, Petty manages to come back again and again, showing us what the music can do and where it can take us.
Really, there are only two places a serious fan can go for a serious inside look: The primary asset of both is that they capture the band leader by using his own words. The additional interviews, as well as the editing of this companion book, were done by Warren Zanes. That means Zanes is to be petty the biography chapters, and petty the biography chapters are many other reasons why he ought to be trusted, as well. His old band, the Del Fuegos, was tight.
His subsequent solo work has been decent. He has a Ph. Zanes has been around many different blocks many different times, and he has been knee-deep in Petty trivia for a good petty the biography chapters while. As a giant Pettyhead and a firm believer in Zanes, I was so beyond excited to review Petty: The Biography that I called dibs on it months and months ago, the moment I heard that it would someday exist. The Biography is a comprehensive entry point for casual fans, definitely.
But the thing is, Zanes has himself already done it better with the Bogdanovich companion.
Petty is comparatively light on direct quotation. In this book, Zanes lays on a level of rhetorical device, adjective choice, and framing that shows clearly how much he is editorializing instead of showcasing the band leader as-is. Where there is a significant amount of direct quotation, the voices ringing the loudest are those of his eldest daughter, Adria Petty, and the only member of the band who got fired and never came back, Stan Lynch.
The commentary from Adria is fresh and wonderful, as Petty has always been closely guarded about his two marriages and his children.
Her input makes clear the harsh dualities of being raised in Pettyland. On the other hand, she makes no bones about long resenting how he abandoned his kids to the terrors of his mentally ill first wife, Jane, whom he may have been suckered into marrying as a teenager at the petty the biography chapters minute before heading to California to try to get a record deal. He let the abusive marriage drag on for years after even the kids knew it was over, and was so destroyed by it himself that he could not look after his children.
He was in a real bad place, he coped in a ugly way, and he fortunately got medical help to shake himself out of it, where most other people in that situation end up dying like Howie Epstein. Especially in the first half of the book, Zanes leans heavily on quotes from Lynch.
Lynch was a killer live drummer and a pretty hard partier because he was single when he was a Heartbreaker. He often crushed it in the studio during recording sessions, too.
He was fired for being a manipulative, wedge-driving, oppositionally defiant jerk who shot his mouth off, a lot, for no reason. The music he was great, but he was tearing the band apart. His contributions to this book show him to be an unreliable narrator and still petty the biography chapters a jackass after all this time, harping on the same complaints about Jimmy Iovine and Rick Rubin that got him petty the biography chapters in the first place.
At one point, Petty explicitly denies that he and Stevie Nicks were ever more than close friends, but then a few pages later he vaguely walks it back and admits that from the outside of their friendship it would certainly look like a relationship.
The quotes from Nicks are a classic flavor of Nicks, equal parts forthright and flaky. Zanes does cover the timeline of the Petty-Nicks connection in fairly solid detail; that ground has just been covered before.
One of the main responsibilities Zanes has with this book is to fill in the gaps between the other two great documents and the current moment. This includes Highway Companion, The Live Anthology, Mojo, Hypnotic Eye, and the Mudcrutch reunion work. And much of those last few pages is just the usual pontificatory praise for his legacy in general.
His work on the Bogdanovich book was great.
Instead of going for the extensive heavy hitter of which he is fully capable, Zanes went for a nice little capsule read. Megan Volpert is the author of seven books on communication and popular culture, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists.
Her most recent work is Sibling Rivalry Press, She has been teaching high school English in Atlanta for a decade and was Teacher of the Year. She edited the American Library Association-honored anthology This Assignment Is so Gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching.