Posts Tagged ‘Rock and Roll’

Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
Learning to Fly, lyrics by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne

“The people who make it and make it as long as [Tom] Petty has made it have to have some kind of rocket fuel driving them. I get the sense from the songs that there is some kind of anger in Tom that was beyond normal teenage rebellion. There was something that drove him out of Gainesville and drove him through all of these battles and refusals to back down to the normal way business is done. Or to even make the normal compromises that people make to get ahead. I was always struck by how many great rock musicians lost their mothers when they were very young. That would be Lennon and Paul McCartney, the guys in U2, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Sinead O’Connor—it becomes an incredible list if you look for it. And I said that to Bono once and he said, ‘It seems as if the untold story of rock and roll is either your mother died or your father hated you. And if you’re lucky enough to have both there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.”
Bill Flanagan
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream doc

Tom Petty, like Bono, had both.

“Those those two factors—the dangerous shadowy figure of a dad, and the sweet mom that left to early in your life—gives you a certain drive. Though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but when I look back on it I sort of turned that anger into ambition. There was an extreme rage in me, that from time to time, would show it’s head through a lot of my life. Any sort of injustice enraged me. I just couldn’t contain myself. This comes from my dad being so verbally abusive to me. He was certainly physically abusive to me at times, he would give me pretty good beatings most of my life….I remember my mom taking a few to the face trying to get between me and my dad.”
Tom Petty

“Not receiving any blessing from your father is an injury…Not seeing your father when you are small, never being with him, having a remote father, an absent father, a workaholic father, is an injury.”
Robert Bly

“Every man carries a wound. I have never met a man without one. No matter how good your life may have seemed to you, you live in a broken world full of broken people.”
John Eldredge

And, of course, women aren’t excluded from mother/father wounds or living in a broken world, full of broken people. I recall reading an interview with Madonna talking about her rocky relationship with her father and how if her mother hadn’t have died when she was young that Madonna would probably be a housewife in Grand Rapids. Madonna had rocket fuel.

And rocky father relationships aren’t limited to rock and roll as super high achievers such as comedian Steve Martin, novelist Pat Conroy, and surfer Kelly Slater are just the start of a long, long list of those with father issues.

Scott W. Smith


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