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Tom Petty’s Problematic Album Southern Accents

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Michael Washburn | Southern Accents | Bloomsbury Academic | April 2019 | 20 minutes (3,222 words)


Around 10 p.m. on September 25, 2017, Tom Petty told the audience at the Hollywood Bowl, “We’re almost out of time,” and struck three D chords in quick succession. “We’ve got time for this one here.”

In six minutes Petty’s public career will be over. Petty and the Heartbreakers will finish the song, thunderously and to thunderous applause. Petty will wish a good night on his audience, and then he’ll linger on stage after the band retreats. Seven days later his life will be over.

But before that we have four minutes of music.

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