Cover of the Week 52 American Girl

I guess it has been a full year of these. Not quite, as I believe it counts a couple of bonuses. I don’t think I specified that I would only do it for a year, however. And while it has not always been easy to crank one out during some particular weeks, it has not been an unmanageable task and it has even provided a nice exercise for me on days/nights when I might otherwise just resign myself and surrender to the inertia of the easy chair. So I will keep it going indefinitely. But I do feel that the accomplishment of 52 in less than a full year ought to allow me a little slack moving forward. While I will try to stay on the weekly schedule, I might be OK with missing a week here and there, or posting more previously recorded live covers.

Back to a guy with his guitar for this week’s cover. Some kids requested some Tom Petty in the request post down below (85 replies!) I have a funny relationship to the music of Petty. The Heartbreakers were one of those ubiquitous radio staples growing up. I remember going into the record store when I was in junior high and seeing a life-sized cut-out of Tom for Damn the Torpedoes. And I had a little red “Damn the Torpedoes” button/badge that they were handing out. I liked all of those songs back then. But I never felt compelled to buy the records. I had to be discerning with which records I bought with the money from my paper route. I still needed some cash for two slices of Sicilian and a small Coke at DiRaimo’s Pizza.

And then I totally lost interest in Petty as he and the Heartbreakers morphed into less-straightforward pop. I loved them as a lean, mean, garage jangle-pop, folk-rock band. Anything relating to Jeff Lynne sends me running in the other direction, including Traveling Wilburys. So I have not liked much of the Petty music that came after the early-80s. Not even Wildflowers does much for me. But I do like the Mudcrutch record quite a bit.

So here is one of the all-time great late-’70s/early-’80s radio hits. I have been covering this for as long as I can remember. I love playing it with the SessionAm boys acoustically as well. So here is a guy and his guitar.

I think I have to finally give up on singing in the key of D.

8 thoughts on “Cover of the Week 52 American Girl”

  1. Great song choice, one of if not Petty's finest. I like the octave voice style, and the folkiness of the song comes really through on your acoustic version.

    Not sing in the key of "D" anymore? Rubbish!

  2. That is a real nice version – it does indeed bring out the folkiness

    Did anyone request that you cover a Counting Crows song…like "American Girls"?

    And sure – go ahead and take a break. It's been pretty cool to check out this page each week and actually see a new cover version uploaded every time. You're like the postal service, the sun, the moon, blah, blah, blah

  3. Actually, I work for the post office over here in England. We've been on one-day-a-week strikes since, like, July or forever, take your pick.

    But yeah, this is one of those covers that works both ways. Catchy, by itself, but exquisite in seeming to acknowledge the passing of the years. The whole bittersweet seductiveness of nostalgia and blah blah blah, please stop me.

    And another perfect version – like Boots Of Spanish Leather – for a wedding reception.

  4. Nice cover of a very good song, Bill.

    I'm suprised you don't like 'Highway Companion'. I'd requested 'Square One' from that disc. If you don't know the song, you should. Very unique for Petty. In my opinion, 'Highway Companion' is one of the best albums of century so far.

    Oh yeah, 'Up Here' is also in that catagory for me.

  5. Congrats on a year! Admittedly, I hadn't heard of many of these songs. COTW has been a great venue for sharing music. How did I not know about Veedon Fleece? Thanks!

  6. .: Nice version, Bill, of a Petty song with which I am not familiar. I really appreciate that many of your CotW choices are lesser-known tunes by well known artists. As such, we (or at least I) get exposed to "new" tunes with which we are not that familiar.

    Please keep singing in the key of D, but if necessary, tune down 1/2 a tone! 🙂

    Thanks again and congrats on achieving a year of CotW's!

  7. Bill, I'd give you a standing ovation, but like many men on the computer, I'm not wearing pants. But, I digress…

    Great news to hear that the CotW will continue in some form. Most of the songs you've covered were new to me. It's always enjoyable to get a new song.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Thanks Bill. I requested a Petty tune in that post, so it looks like a donation is in order. Thanks again

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