Losing Tom Petty broke me. It wasn't a part of the plan. You see, there are patterns in rock stardom. If you live past 27, you're good until you make it to make it to rehab and write an album about it or your band breaks up. Then you fall off the wagon in a foreign country and go to another rehab and once freshly sober, do a solo album. If the solo album works then you gather people who you met while you were screwed up and make a super group album. Then you can sit at home during awards shows and make fun of the new kids while making an appearance every 5 to 10 years to prove you still got it and maybe do a couple reunion tours until life gets the best of you and we hear you're in hospice. That's the way its supposed to be, and for a lot of our upper level artists its going by the plan... classic rock artists are still performing to sold out crowds in their upper 70's. Tom was the little brother of those artists. He was their golden child. He was the product of their influence. The order in which they were supposed to leave for the heavy side layer was set, but Tom did this in typical Tom fashion, abruptly and after giving all that was left to give and in a way that would overshadow those who continue to blaze a trail. A hole the size of Alaska was left behind for me when Tom Petty made his exit. I knew for sure that if I kept grinding away that I would eventually make it to him. In my business, the ultimate moment is being able to stand in front of those who have touched your heart and just say "thank you" for all the moments they inspired and touched. I failed at getting to Tom. I will regret that for the rest of my life.
So in my grief, I decided to do a sort of performance art. If you haven't heard about #WildFlowersAcrossAmerica I'll explain it. Tom always wanted to do a Wildflowers tour. Wildflowers was the title of this second solo studio album released in 1994. You may be familiar with one song from that album "You Don't Know How It Feels" which was the only song released for radio airplay from that album but is such a representation of what the album is about, getting in touch with Tom. He never got to tour that album and commented that once this 40th anniversary tour was over, he'd like to perform Wildflowers on the road. As we know, he didn't get to do that, but in his honor, I thought why not create a living memorial by growing Wildflowers where none are currently growing. I live in an apartment community. We have trees that surround the property but no wildflowers. We have patches of earth that don't get cut by the mowers and I have set my sites on those areas. I have several boxes of seed bombs for my first year and promises from people that they too will participate but I can't promise you they will, I just hope they do; because if a few hundred people just randomly planted wildflowers for Tom, it wouldn't just be beautiful to look at, it would help our pollinators. Don't we all deserve a walk in nature? Don't we all deserve to walk among the wildflowers? Will you join me? -Morgen