Punk Rock Colleague & Historian and Professional Consultant
I coined the word punk@lullaby. It means that the whole time I was in the punk rock scene, from beginning to end, it was all about a song. One song to the next pulled me though the scene. Once that loud music got into my blood there was nothing like it.
~My Punk@lullaby, Journal One by Hudley Flipside.
Everyone is talking about our loss of Tom Petty. A guy whose songs play on the radio. I mean one cannot go by a day without hearing one of his songs.
It wasn’t always that way. A guy from Gainesville, Florida that made it big. You can read his story. I will be focusing on one song that has magnified my life.
I am sure also too, all the good girl and bad boys of the San Fernando Valley.
“Free Fallin'” is the opening track from Tom Petty’s solo debut album, Full Moon Fever (1989). Ya one can hear it all the time.
It is a strange song because it always makes me embarrassed because he is singing about my life. That is what good song writing does. It is inclusive. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley! I grew up walking Ventura Blvd every day.
I played in the Hills of Mulholland too! Loving Elvis and riding my horse were real! It all happened for me in the 1970s. Somehow this song and the lyrics especially speak of a punk edge, a drug edge… and that wildness.
The conflict between the good girls and the bad boys is real. In my life I did not stay home with a broken heart because I eventually joined the vampires on Ventura Blvd.
I instead, ironically, headed east with the bad boys. Yet I know what he is talking about.
I wonder how he knew so much about the valley for not actually growing up there. I guess some help from other artists he knew. Or found this insight hanging with friends and listening to their stories. He does dig deep into the experience of being a valley girl or guy.
Anyone that grew up here as a kid all the way through to their teens has done some “free fallin’…over Mulholland.”
“I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for awhile”
“Listen to the boulevard, listen to the falling rain
I believe in love now, with all of its joys and pains
Sick boy, sick girl, looking nice dressed up on a Saturday night
Take a walk downtown for a while and chase the pale moonlight
I can still hear the mission bells and the train rolling’ through your town
Goanna leave this world behind, we’re Southern California bound.”
Chatsworth_Tunnel_27.jpg (936×960) waterandpower.org
I never went to a Tom Petty show or bought one of his records! Social Distortion I knew like the back of my hand once. Both reached a place of musical fame.
We should honor them for their generational symbol of something unique and different in this world.
In music, however, they manifest in our life or culture as something special about a way of life. Both songs hold value in my life and tell a damn good story.
One that we all can relate to personally or collectively. Especially if you have been there and experienced it personally.