songs i love: tom petty covering the grateful dead “friend of the devil”

Tom Petty

sometimes im glad i dont have kids because you gotta tell them everything and they dont always believe you, which is good, or understand, which can be frustrating.

one thing im pretty sure id have a problem explaining is the great Dead tune “friend of the devil”.

as you know im basically a born again Christian, but i do love naughty things and i am fascinated by the concept of the devil as an actual living thing.

which isnt why i love this song.

i love it because it’s beautiful and sweet and the sort of thing id want to hear as im waking up slowly on a sunday on a summer day.

i was so lucky to have been around so many hippies at college and sweet people who turned me on to the Dead and what they were about. and unlike how i imagine raising kids would be like, they showed me the aesthetics of that scene by their actions, not their words.

which is why i love this song.

dude has at least two wives, maybe three in this song (one who has a lil baby, but it doesnt look like him).

it’s a jam song in the best way. lots of room to breathe. lots of places for the organ and the guitar and the high hat to do its thing

and then theres the harmonies.

some say they love Dylan songs but only when other people cover them. im not one of those people. i like the rind and the crust AND the gooey center of brie cheese.

but i do love a good Dead cover and Petty and the Heartbreakers, i think, are at their best when then dig down into their Dylan & the Dead roots.

so what would i tell my kids? id say forget about the words, who knows what its about, who cares, just feel it man FEEL IT

and if you cant, go clean yr room

sometimes you forget how fun it is to drive

rae sremmurd

never forget.

sometimes after a super profitable night, like new years, it’s hard to get back in the saddle and drive for normal rates.

but then you get some sorority girls or a fascinating man

or best of all the assistant to two of the hottest rappers to ever come out of Mississippi and you realize, oh yeah, this is why ive been doing it for so long: because of the people.

picked up a nice girl, a white girl, in mid city who said we’re going to Burbank. after a short while it was revealed that we were going to a recording studio.

eventually she clued me in to who she was and who she worked with: a duo of southern rappers who she grew up with called Rae Sremmurd. i told her that i was very old and didnt know who she was talking about.

so i turned on my Spotify (RIP Rdio) and as we played the tracks i realized not only did i know one of their tunes, i knew about four of them. i became very excited and had lots of questions for her: where have they toured, what are they like, where will they play in LA, etc etc.

she said i was the coolest 40-year shes ever met.

i said flattery will get you everywhere.

and even though the ride was a long one, it ended far too quickly. but now im def a fan.