Tom Petty was a hero of mine. I admired his work in everything he did, from soundtracks to solo work to his time with the Wilburys, I loved it all. In 1999 Tom Petty with his regular band, The Heartbreakers, released what would be my favorite album of their entire discography, Echo.
Echo was released on April 13, 1999 and was certified Gold in only three months after its release. Comprised of 15 songs, this would become a regular play in my collection for some time after. Clocking in at just over an hour, there is not a bad track on this disc.
They have so many other amazing songs and great albums but Echo is my personal favorite of the Tom Petty Discography.
Why this album?
In 2000, I was in a bad relationship. Not just bad, downright abusive. Somehow I had become involved with a woman that not only was physically abusive but attacked me mentally and emotionally as well. It wasn’t easy, as I was determined to make the relationship work and, thanks to her abuse, I fully believed that it was my fault that it wasn’t working. I won’t go into the details but it took me nearly two years of dealing with this to realize that I deserved better. Not many men are willing to discuss these things as it makes them ‘look weak’ but it happens, and it shouldn’t be ignored no matter what your sex is.
During this time I dove heavily into my writing and poetry. I’ve looked back on some of it sometimes as I have kept those journals as a reminder of what was. It was some pretty dark and desperate stuff to be honest. One of my other outlets was my music, both writing songs with a good friend and listening to songs that mattered to me. This album was one that, ironically, got me through the abuse. I say ironically because, Tom Petty himself wrote the album while dealing with his own divorce at the time, so in a way, he was speaking to me about the same feelings we both shared. In a way, this album helped save my life as, while dealing with this abuse, I became somewhat suicidal. I never did anything outright but there were many times I would plan how I would end my life, leaving her with my body and legacy of pain to deal with. It was albums like this one and the confidence of my sister (plus a few close friends) that kept me going. I am glad I kept going as things did turn out okay after I fought my way out, I found another person to be with and we have since been married going on 14 years. I consider myself lucky.
Each song on this album hit on nearly every emotional moment that I can think of. It contains songs of hope, songs of sorrow and songs that remind you that you have to be tough, sometimes for no one else but yourself.
Today Tom Petty passed away and I am certainly hurting for that, but it was partially because of him that I am still here and for that I will always be grateful.
All of the tracks on this are fantastic. They remind me that no matter how hard things get, there is always hope. Two stand out the biggest to me.
Track 14 Rhino Skin. Rhino Skin is about just that, you have to have Rhino Skin to get through this world. You have to be tough, you have to be strong, you have to be you.
The other track is just a guilty pleasure. Track 11: This One’s for Me. This track just spells it out, sometimes you have to be selfish to be sane. Sometimes you have to fight for what YOU want and not be so concerned about what anyone else wants. Sometimes, it’s all about you. This one’s for me.
Ok, where do I get it?
You can pick this one up pretty much at any place music is sold. Its on Spotify and probably on itunes as well. If you want a physical copy I highly recommend the folks at Amoeba Music, they know music and have this for around $8.
If you like this album, they have so many more that are amazing. Tom Petty is one of America’s best artists that has ever lived. The man was a wizard. I wish I had had the opportunity to have seen him in concert.
I had planned on discussing this album in a later installment but I cant think of a better tribute to this man today than this. Thank you for all you gave us Mr. Petty, I will miss you terribly.
Thank you for reading,
Late To The Game 12/9/2018
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