10/3/17: Tom Petty “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

Tom Petty is gone. He had a heart attack, was rushed to the hospital, put on life support, never regained consciousness, and finally was pronounced dead late Monday.

He died surrounded by his family and bandmates. This one really got to me. Tom would have turned 67 later in October.    We’re very close in age. He also just wrapped up his 40th Anniversary Tour… and, well, I just finished celebrating 40 years here at WCHL. He also had said he thought that might be the last tour. I’m not going to say this is my last go-around here — I’m scared of what might happen.

The main reason I’m down today, though, is that I love Tom Petty’s music. From all that I’ve heard and read, he was a terrific guy, too. Everybody liked Tom Petty. He was a rock and roll guy who never deviated. Always stayed true to himself. Remained loyal to The Heartbreakers all those years. Performed with a lot of different artists over the years, and never let his ego get in the way. Collaborated with some of the greats, including Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison in the Traveling Wilburys. Dueted with Stevie Nicks. Provided great music for numerous movies. Tom Petty’s music, in some ways, has been the soundtrack of my life. Of our lives.  I regret never seeing him in concert, but I have friends who did, and they all said he put on a great show. Always wanted to give the fans a good concert for the money.

There are so many great songs: Everybody knows “American Girl” and “I Won’t Back Down” and Learning To Fly” and “Refugee.” There’s “Free Falling” and “Here Comes My Girl.” And “Into The Great Wide Open” and “You Wreck Me,” and so many others, I could go on all day.  I liked some of the ones that weren’t so well known, like “Echo” and “Free Girl Now” and “Swingin’” and “It’s Good To Be King.”  There are far too many to list.  Tom Petty was a great songwriter.  And his music will live on forever.

“The Music In My Head” this morning was “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” but really, I’ve had so many of his tunes in my head since yesterday, I wanted to share as whole collection of them.  So sit back and enjoy some of Tom Petty’s finest.  His music is going to stay in my head for a long time… and I’m convinced it will “Not Fade Away.”

To read and listen to all of Ron’s Music in My Head entries, click here!

After playing a show at The Cat’s Cradle in July and at Local 506 in August, and The Carrboro Music Festival in September; the School of Rock students’ next public performance will be Sunday, October 29th on the Southern Village Green!

The School of Rock Chapel Hill is a music school for kids of all ages located in the 501 Diner location on Fordham Blvd in front of Eastgate Crossing.

Locally owned, locally operated, locally staffed, locally sourced instruments, and locally built!

You are invited to stop in for a tour or schedule a free demo session. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 3PM-9PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM!  

Learn how to play a real rock and roll song in just 30 minutes!

School of Rock Grand Opening

AND, through a partnership with the Public School Foundation; they’ll donate 1% of their gross revenue to support music in the local public schools, so help bring music to our community and enroll today!

Click Here to See Photos of the Grand Opening Celebration!

Sign-up at chapelhill.schoolofrock.com, or call 919-338-1011.


Open for Rocking!

‘Music in My Head’ airs every morning @9:15AM. Over the air on 97.9FM and streaming on chapelboro.com