Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes (1979)
Music, like footy, is always better if I know the story that goes with it. If you walked into the MCG this Saturday having no idea who the Swans or the Hawks were you would still be entertained by the skill and bravery of the players, but it’s the narrative that lifts it into the air. My favourite albums all have great stories that go with them. I think of albums like ‘Harvest’, ‘Hi Fi Way’ and ‘Exile on Main St’. The characters, the place and the attitude of those albums AT those times are just as important as the musical notes.
It’s in this light that I have chosen Tom Petty’s “Damn the Torpedoes” as my Grand Vinyl champion. Last year I went to the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford with my mate Gus Agars ( The Vandas, Dark Horses) to spin some vinyl for a few punters in the front bar. After a short while Gus pulled out “Damn the Torpedoes” and pIayed ‘Refugee’. I was just so freakin’ jealous that he’d played it and that I hadn’t, isn’t that what dj’ing is all about? Making the next DJ feel insignificant. I love the songs on the album and the back story of Tom “standing up to the system man” sets the tone for the rest of his magnificent career in pop music. Great tunes with a bit of menace thrown in. Tom is also the patron saint of skinny blokes everywhere. So on Grand Final weekend, I tip the hat to Tom Petty and his Heartbreaker pals.