Tom Petty Offered Each of Us More Than He Offered All of Us

Tom-Petty

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had a slogan they reminded themselves of when they were writing songs in the late seventies, an era when bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd were writing heavy melodic songs with long guitar solos. 

“Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.”

That’s why they have so many hits. That’s why everyone can name a Tom Petty song, and you might ask 15 people to name one before you hear the same song twice. 

But why someone is famous or successful at something isn’t always the same reason they connect with individual people. Humming a Tom Petty chorus to yourself is probably the most purely American thing I can think of. I’ve done it driving on highways. I’ve done it while scrubbing tables at the bar where I used to serve tables. I’ve done it setting up chairs at the food truck park I used to manage. I’ve done it walking to the library or coffee shop. I’ve annoyed girlfriends or dates humming whichever one was stuck in my head. 

You probably have too. On the subway, during the commercial of a TV show, at the mall, or on a plane. Those songs feel like they are authentically about America in an uncontrived way that only Chuck Berry could claim to have achieved, and they feel universally relatable in that sense. 

Still, universal appeal isn’t the purpose of art, and what was happening in between Tom Petty’s choruses was never boring. 

There’s a song on Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s 2010 album “Mojo” titled “No Reason to Cry.” For the past seven years, I’ve listened to it dozens of times when I’ve been sad. The chorus matches the simplicity of the title:

“There’s no reason to cry.

There’s no reason to cry.

It’s alright.”

We all want to hear someone say “there’s no reason to cry” when we have to get through something. We all know what it’s like to be free falling, to have a crush on an American girl (or boy), to run down a dream, or to want to tell someone they don’t know what it’s like to be us.

That’s why so many people like Tom Petty songs. But the reason only a few less people love Tom Petty songs is because of the words in-between. 

In “No Reason to Cry” Petty sings:

“So overtake me my sweet lover.

Let me kiss your honey lips.

Could be the only thing that’s real,

could be when you get sad your memory slips.”

It means something, but I’m not sure what. Maybe it meant almost nothing to him. But I think about that last line all the time. The memories we have access to are at the mercy of the mood we’re in when we’re trying to access them. And that’s temporary. Again, that’s an interpretation coming from someone who has listened to that song plenty of times in a specific mood. But that line means something. Whether it meant something to him or something to me, it never won’t mean something powerful.

Petty lyrics are full of those same moments that apply to you in a way you had never been able to articulate. Maybe they applied to him in that exact same way, or maybe pulling out these little gems for us was his greatest skill. How can you hear him sing “she was a part of my heart, now she’s just a line in my face” and not think back at past relationships with a little bit more clarity? Or when he sings “God bless this land, God bless this whiskey, can’t trust love, it’s far too risky. If she marries into money she’s still gonna miss me” there’s no way that doesn’t mean something to you, whoever you might be and where ever you might live. 

These are just so many lines tucked into verses of Petty songs, and if they’re not for you, they’re for someone. Just keep listening and you’ll find your line from your verse. Maybe it’s just “I’ll be the boy in the corduroy pants. You’ll be the girl at the high school dance.” Maybe it’s “I woke up in-between memory and a dream.” Or “I’ll be king when dogs get wings.”

I started listening to Tom Petty when I was in high school. I’ve listened to every album at least twenty times and my favorite ones hundreds of times. I saw him in concert when I was 21. It felt like he was singing every one of my favorite lines from my favorite verses with extra emphasis. It felt like that for everyone, I’m sure, for nearly every line he sang. 

I’m 28 now and the only thing I’ve done with my life is aimlessly write things. That doesn’t feel particularly noble because it’s not in service of any specific goal. It’s all sporadic and I imagine the writing often sounds pretty unsure of itself. The only constant has been that something kept getting written, every day. 

Petty wasn’t trying to write the next great rock song. But anyone who enjoys writing can really only hope to achieve what he managed to always do with the lyrics in his verses. It’d be nice if something I write really hits home for someone or just makes sense to him or her in a way he or she never thought about. And if it doesn’t then maybe the next one will, or a piece of it will, anyways. When a writer’s in cruise control, he’ll write for all of his readers. When he needs motivation, he’ll write for one. 

Petty’s choruses were for all of us. His verses were for me. Or you. 

The words “there’s no reason to cry” can only mean so much to us, even if we all want to hear it. Sometimes there are reasons to cry, for all of us. But every Tom Petty song has more to offer to each of us than it has to offer to all of us. 

-Jonny Auping

 

Tuesdays with 2 Chainz: A Cameo on Downton Abbey?

2 chainzabbey

Listen up Downton Abbey, I’m talking to you. The Walking Dead is back. And it’s coming hard for your Sunday night viewers. I know you’re probably thinking “we are on PBS, our viewers are far too sophisticated to watch zombie shows.” WRONG. My studies have shown that upwards of a bajillion people watch The Walking Dead so the probability would suggest that there is at least some crossover. 

So I’m here to help you out with some advice. You have to shake things up. I have an idea. I’ll admit that I have never seen an episode of Downton Abbey. I do know, however, that it seems to lack diversity, which is never a good thing for a show trying to get viewers. I have also done studies that prove that you’re not attracting a ton of black viewers (considerably less than a bajillion). 

So here’s my plan: give 2 Chainz a cameo on Downton Abbey. I’m not trying to imply that all black people enjoy 2 Chainz (I would never make such a generalization), but he would help diversify the show a little bit and he’s a popular musician/one time star of 2 Broke Girls).

Why would 2 Chainz do this? Well, just as your lack of diversity has cost you certain demographics, 2 Chainz is also struggling in one demographic: middle-aged moms. Moms don’t like 2 Chainz/know who he is. On the other hand ALL moms love Downton Abbey (I’m totally comfortable making this generalization). It’s a win/win for both sides.

Oh, you don’t think a rapper would be interested in appearing in a show about an aristocratic British family in the early 1900s? Well, 2 Chainz isn’t like most rappers. He’s different, as evidenced by this song:

I can already tell you’re probably worried about his lack of acting experience. Well, before you start making assumptions let me introduce you to 2 Chainz’ cameo in Law and Order: SVU last year:

“Dis man will peel my face off, sew it to a soccer ball, and kick into my mother’s yard.” Has Robert Crawley ever delivered a line with that much passion? I doubt it.

Not convinced yet? How about this cameo on 2 Broke Girls:

Think about it, he was asleep for 70 percent of the clip, yet he still managed to have the best performance of anyone in the scene. 

First you hit em with the Law and Order: SVU. Then you come at em with the 2 Broke Girls. The next logical step is Downton Abbey

You’re probably wondering how 2 Chainz’s character should be involved in the plot. I can’t do your entire job for you. You’re creative people, I’m sure you can figure something out. I don’t even watch the show. I heard Mary Crawley is looking for a new suitor. Might I suggest Sir Duel Chainz throw his hat in the ring? I’m hearing clamoring that Nanny West could use a cool sidekick. Nanny Chainz would be a nice plot twist, dont you think?

That part is up to you, but as the person who came up with this idea I do have one request: I think his character should have to say the words “biscuits and crumpets” at least once. I don’t know if that is a regularly used phrase in your show, but I just want to hear how he says it. I bet he thinks of a really cool way to say it. I also think it would be a funny idea to have him always refer to it as “Downtown” Abbey even after being corrected numerous times. I didn’t realize the extra ‘w’ wasn’t there until sometime during season two. 

In conclusion, you’re welcome and, as they say in England, cheers.

-Jonny Auping

Tuesdays with 2 Chainz: ESPN’s Newest Analyst

This happened today.

2 Chainz made his second career appearance on ESPN’s First Take with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. They discussed the NBA. Check it out:

Things you may have noticed: 

-2 Chainz was somehow the third most ridiculous person in the video (which is impressive considering 2 Chainz might be the third most ridiculous person on the planet).

-2 Chainz called the 2013-2014 Brooklyn Nets the “Brooklyn Remix.” That better stick. 

-2 Chainz called Lebron James “Bron Bron.”

-2 Chainz laughed when he heard the name Mike Dunleavy Jr. If I could think of any one person who would be most likely to laugh upon hearing the name of any other one person, it would be 2 Chainz laughing upon hearing the name Mike Dunleavy Jr. Just as a reminder, this is a picture of 2 Chainz. This is a picture of Mike Dunleavy Jr. 

-Kids, if you want to make it in sports media, learn how to YELL THINGS INTO PEOPLE’s FACES. I write about sports professionally here and there, but I make so much less than the people who YELL THINGS INTO OTHER PEOPLE’S FACES. 

-Jonny Auping

Tuesdays With 2 Chainz: A New Album and a Cook Book

“Tuesdays With 2 Chainz” is a recuring feature in which the author takes a moment to discuss what is new in the life of rapper 2 Chainz or bless the public with assorted bits of 2 Chainz trivia.

A TON has happened with 2 Chainz since the last time we talked. He released an album and a cook book. In fact, I was almost too overwhelmed to write this. It seemed impossible to even attempt writing anything under 3,000 words. But I figured out a way to spare you all of that. I decided I would supply you with the five most ridiculous lines from 2 Chainz’ album, “B.O.A.T.S. II Me Time”, and the five most ridiculous excerpts from his cookbook #MealTime2 Chainz TourBus Recipes.

First, the album:

1.)

“I’m raw, talking California Rolls,

Smoking California Weed with California Hoes.”

-“Feds Watching” 

It’s weird that he would choose the one type of sushi roll that has no raw meat in it when he’s trying to associate with the word raw.

2.)

“I’m on top like a toupee,

You on the side like a toothache.

Box your ass, suitcase.

I’m real, you aint.” 

-“Mainstream Ratchet”

There’s very little doubt in my mind that it took him less time to think of that than it did for me to type this sentence. 

3.)

“I smoke just to ease the pain.

So hungry I used to try to eat the rain.

Well at least until the pizza came.”

-“Outroduction”

Is there any way this makes sense? You can’t eat rain and if you’re that hungry just go pick up the pizza yourself, it’s faster. 

4.) 

“My wrist deserve a shout out, I’m like ‘What up, wrist?’

My stove deserve a shout out, I’m like ‘What up, stove?’

All this jewelry on then I’m out cold.”

-“Forks”

The words are supposed to rhyme in hip-hop.

5.) 

“And here you are, a black unicorn,

Mythical, mystical, since the day that your were born.”

-“Black Unicorn

This is the same guy that gave a shout out to his stove a few songs earlier. 

And now the highly anticipated cookbook:

1.)

“Be sure to season every single meal in layers as you prepare the recipes so as to avoid throwing seasonings on dishes after they’re already cooked, and items being prepared can absorb the flavors of the spices.”

-Introduction

Wait, he actually knows how to speak in full sentences?

2.)

“Call Fergie, invite her to watch a movie on Netflix. Once she accepts, start making green beans.”

-Recipe for Green Beans

I’m going to be honest, if Fergie doesn’t want to watch Parenthood on Netflix that might be a deal breaker for me in terms of the green beans. 

3.)

“Cook for 3-4 minutes while blasting ‘Hit It With a Fork’ at an ignorant level.”

-Recipe for Teriyaki Salmon

This is pretty easily my favorite line from any cookbook ever.

4.) 

“While you wait feel free to watch Belly on the big screen.”

-Recipe for Teriyaki Salmon

Once again, probably going to be watching Parenthood.

5.) 

“Serve warm, lean back and vibe out.”

-Sautéed Asparagus recipe.

——————————————————————————–

2 Chainz once again proves he is the renaissance man of our generation. 

What up, Stove?

Jonny Auping

Tuesdays With 2 Chainz: Netflix

“Tuesdays With 2 Chainz” is a recuring feature in which the author takes a moment to discuss what is new in the life of rapper 2 Chainz or bless the public with assorted bits of 2 Chainz trivia.

Things 2 Chainz did this week:

  • -Performed at the MTV Video Music Awards and somehow didn’t even come close to being the most insane person in the performance. 
  • -Release a single off of his upcoming album called “Netflix.”

“Netflix” is a collaboration between 2 Chainz and Fergie or, as I like to call them, the Sonny and Cher of below average hip hop. 

The opening lyric of the song is “I smoked a blunt for dinner, another blunt for breakfast.” Obviously, he must have had a ton of protein for lunch to be able to maintain that kind of diet. Also, most people list their meals in chronological order, but whatever. 

Fergie has an entire verse on the song and literally none of the words rhyme. I understand sometimes words just have to sound somewhat similar and if you say some words a certain way it can sound like they rhyme, but a couple of words have to actually rhyme, right? The closest she gets is “store” and “dough.”

Numerous times throughout the song 2 Chainz says “Let’s make a sex tape and put it on Netflix.” 

Questions about this lyric:

  • Is he talking to Fergie?
  • Will this be on Netflix Instant or are we supposed to pay the extra $7 and wait for it to come in the mail
  • Would 2 Chainz be upset if I waited until I finished watching Parenthood before I watched his tape? I’m pretty deep into Season Three right now.
  • Has 2 Chainz ever seen Parenthood?
  • Why wasn’t Mustard on the beat?
  • Why hasn’t 2 Chainz seen Parenthood?
  • Has anyone seen Greenberg? It was recently been added to Netflix Instant and I’m debating watching it. I like Ben Stiller, but it just doesn’t look that interesting to me.
  • Does 2 Chainz think he could make it six episodes of Parenthood without crying once? If he does he has another thing coming. If he could make it through season one without shedding a tear I would gladly tell everyone I know that he is the greatest rapper of all time. 

-Jonny Auping

Two Turtles Reacting to Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance

Harold and Brian are two neighbor turtles that commute to work every day. Their job is about 150 feet away, making it a 45-minute commute. This was their conversation Monday morning:

“Hey Brian.”

“Hey Harold, what’s going on?”

“Not Much. So did you catch those VMA’s last night?”

“Sure did. That Miley Cyrus has really come out of her shell since ‘Party in the USA,’ huh?”

“You got that right. How about the shots of the crowd during her performance? And I thought we were awkward.”

“I mean it was so weird. I didn’t understand the backup dancers with bears tied to their backs. Uhh, I’ve been carrying something heavy on my back since the day I was born and let’s just say it’s not easy to twerk like that.”

“Yeah, no kidding. She kept singing about Molly? What’s Molly?”

“I think it’s a drug that the kids are taking these days. My son, Franklin, says all the rappers are singing about it.”

“Oh that makes sense. I wonder if that’s what that Hare was on that tried to race you. Remember, last week?”

“Oh yeah, that dude was definitely on something. He was so fast at the start of the race then he just crashed like halfway through.”

“I mean, honestly the performance wasn’t even that bad until she started dirty dancing on that zebra.”

“Zebra? That wasn’t a zebra, that was Robin Thicke…I think he was wearing striped pants to hide a certain something.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, let’s just say I don’t think I was the only slow poke that came to see the performance last night.”

“Oh, come on, man. Grow up.”

“Sorry, sorry, sorry…. You got to admit, that one was pretty shell-arious.”

“I guess. Miley acting all provocative really wasn’t that surprising, but I was shocked that Woopie Goldberg would associate herself with such demeaning behavior.”

“Brian, you dummy, that was 2 Chainz.”

“Oh really? That actually makes a lot more sense now that I think about it. That dude raps slower than I walk.”

“Shell yeah he does.”

“So, would you let your kids listen to Miley after seeing that?”

“My youngest is 94 years old, they can listen to whatever they want to. She was being super slutty, but it’s not like she killed anybody.”

“Tell that to Will Smith’s family. They looked pretty upset.”

“I think they were actually reacting to Lady Gaga.

“Either way, they couldn’t have been more upset than I was after seeing After Earth. I felt like a sea turtle after seeing that sinking ship of a movie.”

“Haha. Good one.”

Thanks.”

“Well, I guess we’re here. What were you going to do for lunch?”

“I was thinking about leaves.”

“Alright cool, I’ll see you back here around noon.”

“Later man.”

-Jonny Auping. 

Greatness Revisited: The Outfield’s “Your Love”

(The Outfield staring at a pair of shoes. Photo courtesy of TheOutfield.com. Yep, TheOutField.com)

There was a small period of time in my life when my ringtone was the 1985 classic “Your Love” by the Outfield. But I had to change it. Why? Because I never answered the phone. Answering the phone would have required me to make “Your Love” stop playing, something that I could never justify. It negatively affected my social life and possibly cost me 2-3 friendships.

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Tuesdays With 2 Chainz: Robbed in the City by the Bay

“Tuesdays With 2 Chainz” is a recuring feature in which the author takes a moment to discuss what is new in the life of rapper 2 Chainz or bless the public with assorted bits of 2 Chainz trivia.

Look, I’ll be honest, the past few “Tuesdays with 2 Chainz” haven’t been all that time relavant. They have more been random discussions on things that 2 Chainz has been apart of in the past. The segment is only a couple weeks old, but 2 Chainz has been doing things for quite some time. There are a lot of things to catch up on.

But this week there was legitimately breaking 2 Chainz news. The man was robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco last Sunday. His cell phone and wallet full of cash and credit cards were reportedly stolen. 

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Tuesdays With 2 Chainz: 2 Namez for 2 Chainz

“Tuesdays With 2 Chainz” is a recuring feature in which the author takes a moment to discuss what is new in the life of rapper 2 Chainz or bless the public with assorted bits of 2 Chainz trivia. 

 If you’re just one of those bandwagon 2 Chainz fans then you probably thought 2 Chainz  has always gone by 2 Chainz. This couldn’t be more wrong. The Atlanta rapper has been making music for over 15 years and has only gone by 2 Chainz for about two of those years. 

He used to go by Tity Boi. 

Well, the only thing more amazing than listening to 2 Chainz rap is listening to 2 Chainz explain things. So I’ll be providing you with 2 Chainz explanation of why he switched his name from Tity Boi to 2 Chainz. 

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Tuesdays With 2 Chainz: Burning Down a Fall Out Boy Video

“Tuesdays With 2 Chainz” is a recuring feature in which the author takes a moment to discuss what is new in the life of rapper 2 Chainz or bless the public with assorted bits of 2 Chainz trivia. 

Last week I discussed 2 Chainz’ on-screen performance in the show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. You probably thought that’s about as random of a venue for 2 Chainz to appear in, but you might actually be wrong. Just a few months ago 2 Chainz was in a Fall out Boy music video. 

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