Tom Petty-1950-2017 Gone….Into The Great Wide Open

Iconic songwriter Tom Petty has left the building…

Only saw him 3 times and each show was brilliant in it’s own special way.

13 Feb 1986-Sydney Entertainment Centre-Supporting Bob Dylan and playing as Bob’s backing band….it was a tad shambolic but memorable. A very high Stevie Nicks joined them for the finale of “Knockin’ On Heavens Door”.

27 August 2005-Greek Theatre, Berkeley, California-Read about it on the link below. With the flu in my body and this show only a BART ride away, I sucked it up and rocked out. It was pretty damn fine.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Black Crowes @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley, California, 27/08/05

27 July 2017-Forest Hills Tennis Stadium-The 40th Anniversary tour and my 60th…..and my lovely wife Julie’s first and only, Petty show.
Although the set-list was not to my liking and the same for every show on this tour… bizarre….Petty and The Heartbreakers delivered a great show.

Tom was a constant source of musical fun and a soundtrack from my teens to now…..really, how many times have I danced to American Girl and Refugee……??

I will miss his presence….I will miss his music….I will miss his humour.

RIP Thomas Earl Petty

20-10-1950  —  02-10-2017


Joe Pug and Courtney Marie Andrews @ The Landsdowne Hotel ** 11 Jul 2017



Joe Pug is a fabulous storyteller with a sly sense of the absurd. Besides that, he is a wry and warm   folk singer/writer carrying on a tradition of singing his own songs and bringing others songs to life.

Another Tuesday evening at The Landsdowne in Sydney brought out some fans of Pug’s and of live music. Joining Joe tonight was Courtney Marie Andrews, originally hailing from Phoenix, but who has been a touring/recording musician for a good decade with Jimmy Eat World and Damien Jurado. Her voice is a mixture of folk and country and if you want to make a comparison to her style, throw Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris into the blender and you come up with a Courtney cocktail

Honest Life, her latest release on Fat Possum records, is worthy of a listen, so check it out.

Mr Joe Pug is a raconteur with a keen eye on the human condition, no matter how messed up it might be. Tonight while displaying an excellent set list of his own material, including “I Do My Fathers Drugs”, “Not So Sure” and “Veteran Fighter”, he touched on a couple of covers.

The first cover was “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” written by the Texas born Billy Joe Shaver. The song itself is a diamond. Prefacing the song with the story of Billy Joe’s shooting of a man in Lorena, Texas, was hilarious and probably enlightening to most in the audience. I highly advise you google Billy Joe and check out his quote about shooting his harasser in the face. It is definitely worth a laugh.

Pug has rediscovered himself, moderated his touring schedule, and has found joy in eating healthy, being at home and connecting with life outside of the honky tonks and hotel rooms. He seems to be having a joyous time connecting with his fans and playing live and that is a boon for all of us who care for his music.

Pug has a melodic delivery that is reminiscent of John Hiatt, one of his influences and it came across as clear as a brightly lit room tonight. After stating that “Hymn 101” was the climax of the show, and someone yelled out “Play some old stuff”, to which Pug answered, “No, I am going to play Carole King’s Tapestry from start to finish”, he proceeded with a short encore.

Andrews came out for a song of her own and then Courtney and Joe became Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty with a cover of  “Insider”  from Petty’s Hard Promises record. It was a splendid end to a sweet evening of folk and for this listener, who is off to see Tom Petty in NYC in 2 weeks the joy of synchronicity was lovely.