There are days. And, there are days.
Yesterday started with a mass shooting in Las Vegas. The numbers kept growing. From two, to 20 to 50, to 58. Dead. And, the wounded. Somewhere well over 500 people. People. Human beings. Attending a concert. Listening to music.
Then there was me. I was right. I should have been a doctor. The osteoarthritis that cost me a hip eight years ago has migrated into my spine. In four places. And, it seems that caused a slight twist to my spine. Or, it is caused by age. I have been referred to an orthopod. My doctor upped my pain meds slightly. And, added one more drug to quiet the neuropathy which is caused by the nerves in my back being pressed by my spine.
I lead a weird life. I know a lot of musicians. The phone rang. Tom Petty suffered from complete cardiac arrest on Sunday night. Then the rumors started showing up on Facebook and Twitter. Another phone call. No brain activity. So, his life support was disconnected.
And, he died.
And, we cried. For the people in Las Vegas. For me. For Petty.
Funny thing, Petty just finished his 40th Anniversary Tour with three nights at the Hollywood Bowl. He got to play for his adopted hometown fans. He wanted to stop touring and just make music.
We tried to play his music. It just made us sadder. But, one song lead to another and it lead us to another Florida musician. Jimmy Buffett. His music always makes me smile. It did its job again. We are smiling through our tears.
The picture. I know. I promised you scary pictures. For Halloween. But, but, but… I made this picture about ten minutes after I learned that my back was slowly turning into hardened cement. I was walking across this glass enclosed bridge from my doctor’s office to the rest of the hospital, when I saw this picture. I thought, “Oh, what the hell” and pressed the button. I didn’t know that the sky was crying.
He rose from the dead. Sort of like Jesus Christ on Easter. Tom Petty is alive. Hanging on by a thread. CBS admitted their mistake. So did everybody else. I got my information from a member of his touring crew who was called by a reporter asking for comments. Even though he had no comment, the reporter went with the story. As did just about everybody else.
If you wonder why the media has such a bad reputation, why the clown who wants a crown can attack them and call everything fake news, this is an example. We’ve gotten to the point where legitimate media doesn’t bother to do their jobs. They just run with something an entertainment agency posted on their website.
You’ve got people like me, and like my musical miss, upset as we could be on what has already been a horrible day. Damn. Musicians like Sir Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan were expressing their condolences on Twitter, on Facebook and through Rolling Stone Magazine.
It’s gotten to the point that I have to ask. Who do you trust?
The pain meds are taking care of my back. They aren’t getting me high. That’s good. I don’t want to be nonfunctional. But, one of my legs hurts because of the nerve pressure. Trust me. If I have to buy a little scooter to get around, mine is coming with huge speakers. I’ll plug Spotify into them. You’ll hear me coming.
“And, I won’t Baaaack Down.” — Words from Tom Petty.
At 8:24pm PDT.
Petty’s management announced what we knew was coming. Tom Petty had passed. The tributes started flowing again. Bob Lefsetz, a long time music industry player and guru, wrote this.
“His death is like a death in the family.”
And, that he knew his post was too long — like this one — but if he kept writing Petty would still be alive to him.
And, that Petty’s music was infused in American life. He is right. Even folks who are not fans of his music know it. It is just there. Everywhere. And, so…
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not slighting the people who died needlessly in Las Vegas. I cannot wrap my head around that. Why do people kill so many people for no reason we’ll ever know? I’m still trying to come to terms with that.
Storyteller has been updated three times. Usually, my updates are for editing reasons. Not this time. I started writing it after the first announcement of Petty’s passing. My final update was written this morning. It’s the post that never stops. I’m sorry for that. Normally, I’m a fairly concise writer. I guess the events of the day — yesterday and today — are really just too much for me. Or, maybe, anybody.
And so it goes.
RIP Tom Petty. 1950 – 2017.
RIP 59 people who were shot and killed in Las Vegas. I’m sorry that I don’t know all of your names. Eventually I will. We all will.