Cool article about the simple song. It’s not so simple at all.
I love Tom Petty. I become captivated by his songs because I’m always asking myself where the choices are. What did he leave out? What did he change? What did he choose NOT to do inside a song? WHY did he use THAT chord? I came to love drummer Steve Ferrone (“The New Guy”) after he replaced Stan Lynch in 1994 due to how economically and how perfectly he approached the backbeat within the context of TP’s music. He crafted his drum parts around Tom’s writing, giving those parts personalities that reflected Tom’s writing style. I heard Tom once said about Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell, “The man has never wasted a note.” That’s one of the greatest compliments to a musician I’ve ever heard. Especially when you consider the source. Tom was a “tough room” for sure with a high bar. (And, full disclosure, I’m also a huge progressive rock fan! A genre not known for its simplicity nor economy of note selection.) Click below to read the article.