• Music

    The Astounding Genius of Jeff Lynne, the Real Mr. Blue Sky

    It may not have seemed so at the time, but 1977 was a good year for me. I was twelve years old, and even though I didn’t realize it, I was a pre-teen sponge. I absorbed everything around me. Unbeknownst to my parents, I’d read Stephen King’s then two-year-old novel Salem’s Lot (sorry, Mom), which has simultaneously scared the bejeezus out of me and started an itch to create my own stories as a writer. That was also the year of Star Wars, which made me want to be a space cowboy. 1977 was a year of killer music, too. Though it would be a while before I could truly…

  • Music

    Even Walls Fall Down: The Part of Tom Petty I’ll Always Carry

    We lost another one a few days ago. By “we,” I mean people who like good music, and by “another one,” I mean, of course, Tom Petty. All this week, every time I’ve had the chance, I’ve been listening to his music, whether on Pandora or my own digital collection. I’ve been reading tributes from his friends and fellow musicians, and I’ve been commiserating with my friends over our loss. For some reason, this one’s been tougher than most. My earliest musical memory of Petty is “The Waiting,” the first song from what would eventually become my second-favorite Petty album, Hard Promises. My memory isn’t of the first time I…