Tom Petty is a Genius Poet

Posted by Carlos Gabriel Ruiz on June 3rd, 2008

I have a confession to make. I fucking love Tom Petty.

I know I shouldn’t say that because I’m a Pretentious Record Store Guy and Tom Petty should be enjoyed only in an ironic way that trivializes the mainstream and uses the false facade of irony as a substitute for nostalgic appreciation for the things that our parents loved and held dear, but that’s not the case. What I should really say is that Nick Cave is the greatest songwriter in the world not named Bob Dylan and that Dylan peaked in the late 60s, but honestly I’ve been thinking about it long and hard and I can’t come to any other conclusion except that Tom Petty is a genius.

Every one of Tom Petty’s songs is filled to the brim with California surfer zen nuggets of wisdom. Petty just drops these little gems of goodness as an aside so you don’t even realize how utterly brilliant he is until you one day your car gets rear ended and the rental they give you only has a radio in it and silence gets old after a while so you pop on the radio and Tom Petty comes on and whispers to you that:

“The waiting is the hardest part.”

or what about:

“Even the losers get lucky sometime”


“Running down a dream is sometimes further than it seems.”

And these are only a few of the gems I’m referring to. In life, everyone throws the word genius around like every little creative endeavor is a work of art, but the Prententious Record Store Guy thinks that most art is shit, and is undeserving of the title of “Art” and that real genius is hardly ever appreciated in it’s time, so for the PRSG to deem Petty a genius and at the same time make a complete about face from his pretentious tendencies to do so, well that is an act that should go noticed. And since Pretentious Record Store Guy is a self appointed expert, his advice is that of a sage and could even be considered an act of genius.

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