Tom Petty – The Waiting ….Power Pop Friday #3000!

Well everyone…this is powerpop’s 3000th post! I want to thank all of you for making this happen. There was a while when I started that I didn’t know if I would go on because as we all know…it’s sometimes hard to get started and known in word press. The big break for me came when Hanspostcard republished one of my posts (the 1967 movie Bedazzled) and I started to get a few readers and that grew. The reason I keep doing it is because of the comments…meeting like-minded people is the reason this is still fun so thanks again.


In the early 1990s, my cousin Mark and I shared an apartment in Nashville. On our answering service we would leave funny or what we thought were funny messages. I broke out the guitar and we did the chorus of this song as a message. It went over well but we got tired of hearing it every time someone called.

If I had to rank Tom Petty songs in my personal list. This song would come right behind American Girls as far as my favorite Tom Petty songs. I’m a huge Tom Petty fan and one of the reasons besides the music is this. At the time, Tom Petty was so popular his record label wanted to charge $1 more for the LP than the standard $8.98, but they backed down after he considered naming the album $8.98. Tom seemed to be a good man.

I bought the single when it came out in 1981 and then the album Hard Promises. This song has a Byrds feel and is reminiscent of the mid-sixties.  It peaked at #19 on the Billboard 100, #6 in Canada, and #27 in New Zealand and it didn’t chart in the UK…the UK missed the boat on this one.

Tom seemed to always channel his inner Roger McGuinn. American Girl is a prime example. It sounds so much like Roger McGuinn that the first time Roger heard the song he asked his manager “when did I record this?” McGuinn met Petty and they got along great…McGuinn invited Petty to open up for him on his 1976 tour.

In the 1980s I watched the Gary Shandling Show faithfully and I remember that Tom Petty played this song on one episode.

Tom Petty: “I remember writing that one very well. That was a hard one. Went on for weeks.  I got the chorus right away. And I had that guitar riff, that really good lick. Couldn’t get anything else. (Softly) I had a really hard time. And I knew it was good, and it just went on endlessly. It was one of those where I really worked on it until I was too tired to go any longer. And I’d get right up and start again and spend the whole day to the point where other people in the house would complain. “You’ve been playing that lick for hours.” Very hard.

It’s one that has really survived over the years because it’s so adaptable to so many situations. I even think of that line from time to time. Because I really don’t like waiting. I’m peculiar in that I’m on time, most of the time. I’m very punctual.

Roger [McGuinn] swears to me that he told me that line. And maybe he did, but I’m not sure that’s where I got it from. I remember getting it from something I read, that Janis Joplin said, “I love being onstage, it’s just the waiting.”

Roger McGuinn on hearing Tom Petty for the first time:

“I said, ‘when did I record that?” I was kidding, but the vocal style sounded just like me and then there was the Rickenbacker guitar, which I used. The vocal inflections were just like mine. I was told that a guy from Florida named Tom Petty wrote and sings the song, and I said that I had to meet him. I liked him enough to invite Petty and the Heartbreakers to open for us in 1976. When I covered ‘American Girl,’ I changed a word or two and Tom asked me if it was because the vocal was too high and I said ‘yes.’ I had fun with Tom’s song.”

Tom on the Gary Shandling show. I remember this episode. 

Again thank you to everyone!

The Waiting

Oh baby, don’t it feel like heaven right now?Don’t it feel like something from a dream?Yeah, I’ve never known nothing quite like thisDon’t it feel like tonight might never be again?Baby, we know better than to try and pretend

Honey, no one could’ve ever told me ’bout thisI said yeah, yeah (yeah, yeah)Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

The waiting is the hardest partEvery day you see one more cardYou take it on faith, you take it to the heartThe waiting is the hardest part

Well, yeah, I might have chased a couple women aroundAll it ever got me was downYeah, then there were those that made me feel goodBut never as good as I feel right nowBaby, you’re the only one that’s ever known how

To make me wanna live like I wanna live nowI said yeah, yeah (yeah, yeah)Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

The waiting is the hardest partEvery day you get one more yardYou take it on faith, you take it to the heartThe waiting is the hardest part

Oh, don’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to youDon’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to youI’ll be your bleeding heart, I’ll be your crying foolDon’t let this go too far, don’t let it get to you

Yeah, yeah (yeah, yeah)Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

The waiting is the hardest partEvery day you get one more yardYou take it on faith, you take it to the heartThe waiting is the hardest part

Yeah, the waiting is the hardest part

Woah-ohIt’s the hardest partWoah-ohIt’s the hardest part


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

59 thoughts on “Tom Petty – The Waiting ….Power Pop Friday #3000!”

      1. At one time I had more time than I do now and I got out three a day but…they were all one paragraph at best. I didn’t know to extend into the album or anything else related to the song.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Congratulations! 3000 is an achievement, and it’s been a very cool, interesting body of work so far. Here’s to the next 3000!
    I like this song, one of Petty’s better singles & he had many good ones. The Simpsons used it to good effect in the one where Homer wants a gun but has to wait to get it…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t believe I’ve actually done 3000 posts! Never did I believe I would last this long.
      Yea this song is great…this one and American Girl are two of his best to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. if you take away the ‘Damn the Torpedoes’ and ‘Full Moon Fever’ albums (and thus end up with most of his 80s stuff) I’d say this would be just behind ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’ in my list of favorites by him. But those two albums together would dominate my personal Tom Petty top 10

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yea I like Mary Jane’s Last Dance also! I think this was the first Petty I owned so I’m partial to it but yes…he had a lot of good ones. He had great singles and some great albums.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean about the 100 thing. I think when it is part of your routine, an obsession of sorts then it gradually it becomes easier. It’s like anything I guess,whether it is learning a new language.. whatever, until it becomes routine, an obsession you don’t really have other options but to just do it. Bukowski’s gravestone epitaph ‘Don’ t Try’ says a lot. For instance A couple of days ago I had no inclination to write an article. But I thought you have to write something. You can’t have a day where nothing appears in your blog. So I wrote. I think when you reach that point, then it all gets easier.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea I got into a rut last year. I was spending too much time here….I still do but that is part of the reason I took the month off. I will probably take a couple of weeks off sometime this spring or summer….maybe.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s going back and reading posts…I have to do some late at night because I run out of time during the day. Right now I have a little bit of free time but I’m about to vanish for a while.
        You will Matt…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great stuff Max and congrats on 3000! Thats awesome and it shows as your a great writer.
    This Petty track is awesome. Was this the album that the record company wanted to charge a buck or two more and Petty said …Screw it? lol Loved that Rebel side to him.
    Cheers pal here’s to 3000 more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3000? 3000! Blimey, I’ve done 812 over what feels like an eternity at times and who knows where I found the time for that? A funny guy I followed who consistently had 80-90-100 viewers per post has had to walk away- he tried to be fair and answer all comments, but, as you know, the time it takes…
    This is another very well written song, prototype McGuinn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I know…that is what drove me to take the month off last year and work also. I won’t take that big of break again at once but I will take a couple of weeks here and there. It’s taken me 5 years and I posted 3 times a day at one point…I grew out of that habit quickly!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 5 a day? That way madness lies! I’d average a couple a week, anything outside of that and it all becomes less of a hobby and more like hard work, and where’s the fun in that?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on 3k! What a great song to feature for your milestone. This is one of my earliest favorite Tom Petty songs. I confess, I never connected the sound of McGuinn and Byrds to Tom Petty until I read it in one of your posts long ago. Then I thought of course, it’s very similar, and of course I love the music of both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had you listed on my draft of this…you, Hans, and a guy named Blackwing were my first readers. You and Hans are on all of my first ones and I totally appreciate it.
      Toms voice is great and he has those inflections of McQuinn…yea I like both a lot.


      1. It’s interesting how paths cross. You were getting started around the same time that I decided I should be a more active blogger and commenter. You’ve gained your following through work and consistency.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I appreciate that…and…I’m thinking about posting a few of my own songs pretty soon. I’m tired of waiting for the singer to come around…I don’t know if people will be receptive or not but I might try.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all, congrats on hitting 3000 posts, Max. After 6 years and 8 months, I’m at 1,262 with one scheduled post for tomorrow. I suppose this means by the time I hit 3k, if I ever do, retirement will be in sight! 🙂

    As for “The Waiting”, I love that song. With Tom Petty, you rarely can go wrong. If I could pick only one, it probably would be “Refugee” from “Damn the Torpedoes”, my favorite Petty album, or “You Got Lucky” from “Long After Dark”. “The Waiting” and “American Girl” definitely would be among my top 10. He had so many great songs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I did most of my posting early on Christian. I was doing 3 a day starting off because I saw Hans doing it…so I thought you had to do that lol.
      Refugee is great as well. All the ones you mentioned are….American Girl and this one is so strong into Power Pop…that is the reason I put those two at the top.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on the milestone. 3000 is very impressive… Putting it into persepective, I only have 1407 #1s to cover in total and I’m still miles away!

    As for Tom Petty, the UK pretty much missed the boat on all his stuff. Dunno why he didn’t really get as big over there? Too American?? Didn’t hurt Springsteen…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep the journey is what is fun about it. I am enjoying the trip through the 80s…and surprisingly I will be sad when they end. I like 90s music on the whole more but the 80s were my childhood really.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: