Confession: there was a time in my life when I told people I was sexually attracted to Tom Petty. Years actually. From 8th grade till this exact moment.
Let me preface: Junior high is hard & it’s harder when your the new kid. I had moved in 8th grade and made friends with a group of girls who loved rockers. They all had one: Jim Morrison, Kirk Cobain, Billie Joe Armstrong. I really wanted to fit in. So I chose fast and hard and went with that sex muffin Petty. In fairness his greatest hits was just released and Last Dance with Mary Jane was a very popular song. Also, I don’t think I fully understood the level of commitment it would take to tell people I wanted to bone Tom Petty. Even in 1994 Tom Petty looked a middle aged lesbian with a pretty creepy vibe. I would have to say things like, “Man, I wish I was a dead Kim Basinger slow dancing with that hot piece of Petty ass.” (for those who didn’t pretend to sexually fantasize about Tom Petty, that’s a reference to his Mary Jane music video). Music videos about boning dead ladies was considered artistic back then. It was a different/gentler time.
Also, I’m not sorry. I still love Tom Petty. Wildflowers is one of my favorite, if not my favorite album of all time. I’ve had a bunch of amazing times at his concerts. So in an effort to practice gratitude, I stand by my decision. If I could talk to my 13 year old self, I would say: “Do it again. Pretend to want to bone Tom Petty. It’s ok if your a liar & a weirdo, you’ll go to some good concerts and discover some good music.” so with that, I say thank you, Mr. Petty. Thank you for the years of good music and sexual confusion.