Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free (SXSW Premiere)

  • March 18, 2021
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"Wildflowers is for the people you love." 

Tom Petty said that. 

Come to find out, Tom Petty wrote that song simply by waking up, grabbing a guitar and opening his mouth. Music and lyrics just flowed out of him, stream of conciousness style. The only time, he said, this had happened. 

'Somewhere You Feel Free' isn't a documentary of a bunch of old guys remembering how they put together one of the greatest albums of all time, but hours of audio and video of that bunch of old guys as their younger selves actually making that album. 

We get to hear Tom Petty describe his thought process while making the album, demoing songs we have all come to love, all the while in full Chris Elliot cosplay from Schitt's Creek (see reference photo below). 

Tom wanted to make a solo album free of the democratic process of the band, so he reached out to his musical friends from The Heartbreakers and started work on his new solo project. Turns out, he loved working with most of the Heartbreakers. Exit Stan Lynch, enter Steve Ferrone. Rick Rubin, not Jeff Lynn, producing, and a new drummer, were the two small changes that made all the difference for capturing that sound Tom Petty was after. 

Wildflowers turned itself into a dobule album just by way of the incredible songs falling from Petty and the band, but when it came down to releasing the album, Rick Rubin was shocked Tom went along with just releasing it as a single disc. Very Tom Petty like, he went along with the single disc because double albums were too expensive for the fans. 

Lucky for his fans, Wildflowers and All The Rest was released late last year, and now on April 16, Finding Wildflowers will be released wtih unreleased songs and demos. 

Unlucky for fans, this film (as of this writing) still has no distribution deal. I'm sure that will change, and we'll keep you posted. 

*Reference Photo From Left: Roland Schitt, Tom Petty circa 1994.