Sorry… my first set ran over, so here I am with my first two-part post!
I made it to Hollywood in no time flat, and being vehemently opposed to paying for parking, I found a spot on Gower with nary a street parking sign posted… Hmmm. Nervously I made my way across the street to The Fonda, where a crowd was already down the block and around the corner. Would my car be there at the end of the night? I felt okay about it, so away I went.
Because of the scalper situation, you had to go right into the theatre once you got your ticket from Will Call… and since Russ and I did not want to stand for 3 hours… It was 5:30, doors opened at 7 and we were told Petty would not come on til 9… we decided to have dinner at the Blue Palms Brewhouse. In a nutshell, the beer list was large and great… sausages were delicious (one elk, one venison), as was the kraut, sautéed onions and jalapeno they came with… beer steamed mussels and clams awesome… could not stop dunking bread and extra bread!!! The short ribs were meh… a bit boring gravy wise and too mushy. But the staff was great and so attentive and the space was comfortable and cool. This is a no brainer if going to a show at the Fonda or in the area… and I will be back to have the “World Famous” Truffle Burger…
How do businesses and restaurants claim “World Famous” any way??? Do out of the country tourists boast about it to their friends and BOOM?!
Anyway… really good place, but the best part was the company. We had a nice gentleman ask if he and his wife could join us at our table… Of course, we said. After an hour of great conversation… an invitation to their 4th of July party… and watching the Miami Heat get their butts beaten… they paid for our entire meal! Thanks, Julie and Jim. You are fun, extremely cool, and most generous.
We finally went in around 8 and found a spot off to the side on the raised area… Not great for this venue, as some of the stage is cut off from view… sorry Scott Thurston… but this place only holds 1200 so pretty great if you know what I mean.
Petty came on a bit after 9 and opened with the same opener from the setlists I have seen… The Byrds’ “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star “. Well yeah, we all want to be Rock n’ Roll stars… but you and the boys just are, Tom! Damn they sound good!
I like to look at the setlists to see what an artist has been playing, especially when they are doing a multi-night residency (This was night six out of six… the last stand!) Some folks like to be surprised, which is cool… though I wish the obnoxious lady, with the most annoying, shrill voice I have ever heard knew that “American Girl” was the closing number every night. She screeched it out at every chance she could, even in the middle of Tom’s banter or other songs… Ouch! You can find the full setlist below.
This band is so good and my love for them has only deepened! Watching Benmont Tench’s white Fedora bob up and down while he played his amazing keyboard solos… and especially watching the dread locked, virtuoso Mike Campbell play those iconic guitar riffs was heavenly… and man, did I need a little heaven, as life has been a bit of a frozen hell around here.
I got a good laugh twice… Once when a woman with four drinks in hand used her head to butt people on the shoulders or back to get them to move aside… Guess she was a Billy or Mountain goat in another life… The other was when Tom was introducing the Conway Twitty (Actually Wayne Kemp) cover they were about to play, and he said today’s country music is basically “watered down rock with a fiddle.”
I did have one moment of sadness, remembering former bassist Howie Epstein, who died in 2003 from “complications due to drug use.” Many years ago (June 5, 1993) I got to meet Howie and go backstage at the Troubadour of Folk Festival thanks to Rolling Stone writer and editor David Wild. Even though they all signed over each other on my ticket stub, I will never forget meeting Tom Petty (in black sharpie and the most legible)… Roger McGuinn (can only really see Roger…) and Arlo Guthrie (smudged ink). It is framed with the poster from the show and my backstage pass… and looking back on the lineup is a day I will never, ever forget.
Music weaves in and out of our lives, and is the stitching that holds us all together…
Setlist (No “Breakdown… one of my faves… but good stuff!)
So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (The Byrds cover)
Love Is a Long Road
Listen to Her Heart
Baby, Please Don’t Go (Big Joe Williams cover)
Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It)
The Best of Everything
(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone (Paul Revere and The Raiders cover)
A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me)
I’d Like to Love You Baby (J.J. Cale cover)
Tweeter and the Monkey Man (Traveling Wilburys cover)
Time to Move On
Image of Me (Wayne Kemp cover)
Willin’ (Little Feat cover)
I Should Have Known It
Runnin’ Down a Dream
You Wreck Me