In Rememberance

October 19, 2017

Thank You Tom

Remembering beloved rocker Tom Petty who died in October at age 66 
Wikimedia Commons

Remembering beloved rocker Tom Petty who died in October at age 66

By Harvey Kubernik

was very sad to hear of the physical passing of Tom Petty who wrote the introduction to my 2014 book Turn Up The Radio, Pop, Rock, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956-1972.  

When I was West Coast Director of A&R at MCA Records 1978-1979 I paired Tom with engineer- turned record producer Jimmy Iovine for their Damn the Torpedoes album. In the Warren Zanes’ book Petty: The Biography, Tom›s longtime manager, Tony Dimitriades, acknowledged my suggestion. It was my John Hammond moment that I relish. 

Decades ago when I was laid off from MCA with a few dozen other employees, Tom called, Tony Dimitriades called and John Hiatt phoned. I produced a spoken word promotional interview album on John to support the Denny Bruce-produced
Slug Line. 

I later received an Organic Catalyst credit on the Del Shannon album, Drop Down and Get Me that Tom produced. It was my idea for the collaboration. I introduced Tom and Del inside the Bug Music office in Hollywood. I also played a role in steering Del›s bassist. Howie Epstein, into the Heartbreakers, 

The eventual record release party for Del’s disc was in the very early eighties in Reseda, Ca. at the County Club. Tom joined Del on stage for an encore of the Beatles’ “From Me to You.”  I remember being introduced to record producer Paul A. Rothchild, who did his fair share of
A&R functions.

I interviewed Tom in the very late seventies and in 1980 for Melody Maker. 

In 1977, I put together a party for Carl Perkins in Century City when Carl was on Jet Records and invited Tom. He was thrilled and told me as a kid he met Elvis Presley on a film set in Florida. 

I saw Tom at the last Johnny Cash House of Blues gig and a couple of years ago he caught the Rascals’ multi-media show at the Greek Theater.  

The last time we connected was when there was an event in Santa Monica, Ca. to launch a DVD on the Hollies. Graham Nash invited me. We sat near each other. Tom mentioned he once was a roadie one night for a Hollies’ show
in Florida. 

Earlier this year I had dinner with Andrew Loog Oldham who was visiting from Bogota, Colombia.  He was in town to tape Petty’s Buried Treasure Sirius XM radio program out at Tom’s home studio in Malibu

Tom Petty loved rock ‘n’ roll. He did it in the studio, on the stage and on the page. 

Thank you, Tom.  

One Comment

  1. Mick Prumm

    This is more about the writer than about Tom Petty. Showing off like this in what is meant to be a tribute to a great musician so recently dead is shameful. We learn a lot about Mr Kubernik, his books, his jobs but learn nothing about Tom at all, other than “he loved rock n roll, he did it in the studio, on the stage and on the page’.

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