Tom Petty

I realize that Runnin’ Down a Dream is going on for a decade old, but I’ve only just been able to view it via Netflix. Reading about Petty c. ’79 when there was still serious rock journalism (Melody Maker and NME) he always struck me as a man of integrity and decency without resorting to the shallow and ubiquitous virtue-signalling of many a “name”. As with Nick Lowe, Petty is one of the few occupying a special sweet spot between the hollowed out franchises of the big “circus” acts  and gameshow musical non-entities. While the documentary is itself quite conventional (the usual talking heads), its strength lies in its leisurely pace, allowing a story to be told in Petty’s own words and to showcase his amazing back catalogue. Bogdanovich to his credit (unlike Scorsese) leaves his artistic pretensions at the door and let’s the music and characters speak for themselves.