S2E3 Hurt

You're Gonna Get It


Length: 11:42 - Release Date: December 8, 2021 -

Hey folks! Today's episode focuses on the title track from the sophomore album You're Gonna Get It! which is the second track on side one.

If you want to listen to the song before you listen to the episode, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/GzrEY9-uQd8

The Alternate version that I discuss in the episode, which is from 2018's box set compilation, An American Treasure, can be found here: https://youtu.be/Lhs0cFpokU8 and the outstanding live version from The Old Grey Whistle Test, recorded on June 20th, 1978 can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/NkDOstytmLA?t=1284

I also talked about the similarity between Stan's drum pattern in the bridge and the intro to Second Home by the Sea by Genesis, so you can check that out here if you like: https://youtu.be/UKlIGh1-spk


(* Note - the transcript is as-written before recording. I usually change a few sentences or words here and there on the hoof as I'm speaking.)

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, my fine friends. Today we’re continuing with episode three of season two of the Tom Petty Project Podcast. I am your host, Kevin Brown!

Did you notice anything different about the pod this week? Well aren’t you observant! That’s right, I have a whole bunch of new stings courtesy of my fantastically talented and generous friend Randy Woods. I’ll put some links to his music in the episode notes so that you can go check out his stuff! He has a new song out with his group, The Randy Woods Band called This is Your Time, and it’s a really fun number. Give it a spin!

Today, we’re listening to the excellent third track from You’re Gonna Get It, the simply-titled “Hurt”. As always, I’ve added a link to the song on the official Tom Petty YouTube channel in the episode notes, so go listen to the song and we’ll reconvene to talk about it.

Hurt was written on a flight back to California from an unknown port of departure. In Conversations with Tom Petty, Tom says that it was written on airplane stationary and that he figured out the music and arrangement when he got home. This would imply that the lyrics actually drove this song somewhat, as it wouldn’t have been composed while noodling around on his acoustic guitar. The song is co-written with Mike Campbell who came up with that wonderful middle eight, which always seems to have a George Harrison-esque feel to it to me. Tom goes on to explain that the After Mike and Tom had figured out how to get that bridge in place, they cut it with Denny Cordell. Cordell had them tap out percussion on their guitars which was recorded and looped to use as the click track for the rest of the band. This is an almost forgotten art and allows for a human tempo to be maintained without it being rigidly mechanical.

The song is one of only a handful of Heartbreakers songs to fade in. The most notable of that stable of course being Even the Losers, from the monster third album. I commented last week that You’re Gonna Get It has an unusually long middle section for an early Heartbreakers song and this one has a really long intro, clocking in at just over 50 seconds. 

The initial fade in is backed with a beautifully washed cymbal sitting under the multiple guitar tracks; a simple arpeggio, a lightly strummed acoustic part, and Mike’s fills and textures, which bounce lightly around the left and right channels rounding it all out. The electric guitar then mirror what the acoustic is playing as Stan, who has been hitting his snare on the 2 count every 4 bars, starts to add more percussion in, with the 2 count hits moving to the toms and the snare being lightly rolled. Benmont’s keys and Ron’s bass are just waiting for the kick into the meat of the song and as the intro builds to the very simple drum fill into that first main chord progression, we hear Benmont’s organ fade in. The chord progression we then head into is actually the one from the chorus, which means that what we’re basically getting here is an extended verse and a chorus as the intro. So that’s another neat little bit of creativity from Tom and Mike. 

The first verse drops us back into the sultry, moody refrain in that suspended 4th A pattern. In addition to Mike’s fills, we also get some organ fills from Benmont, which fill out the sound. Ron is staying away from that suspended chord, just keeping the root and fifth notes, so that the A-D-E progression that the song is hung onto really rings. Benmont is then adding in a couple of seventh notes to really beef out that atmospheric edge that the verse has. 

When we get into the chorus, we hear some straight up country licks from Mike. We also hear Stan staying with the tempo rather than backing back off. We then get “Cut down the middle, face down in the dirt” with that laid back vibe of the intro before we change from A to E and then down into Db minor, before landing back in A. That little progression and the way it feels, reminds me a little of the similar changes in the chorus of Hometown Blues. That big, bright E major, dropping to the minor before resolving back to the root. It just disarms you slightly when you think you know where the chorus is going and it takes a quick left turn before heading back onto the familiar path.

After that first chorus, we get a really cool bridge. It’s a really straightforward change to a suspended E progression, which Mike just sits on, with some muted picking in the background and Benmont filling in the treble with a simple organ part. You can also hear a bongo, or something similar, in the right channel, quite faintly on the 2s and 4s before the drums come back in with Stan playing a cool stutter step type pattern. Now - it only struck me tonight that the riff that Mike is playing in that bridge is really similar to the one Harold Faltemeyer uses in The Heat Is On, performed by Glenn Frey for the classic 1984 movie Beverley Hills Cop. I’ll put a link in the episode notes, so you can give it a listen and see if you hear it or you think I’m crazy.

I love how understated the transition is back into the last verse too, with Stan really holding back on the drum fill, a soft crash cymbal and then some more sweet honky tonk guitar from Mike which almost sounds like a lap steel but isn’t, Benmont coming in again with some keyboard fills before we head into that wonderful chorus. And those two parts lead us back out of the chorus into the outro, in which the song is allowed to evaporate like a strong bourbon left out for too long. Mike puts in some tasty, tasty bends and slides in that outro and I would love to hear the original tape to see how long they jammed the ending of that one out.

It’s that time of the show where you test your knowledge of Tom’s work as I throw some Petty Trivia your way!

Last week, I asked you, what is the name of the first single that Tom ever recorded with Mudcrutch, in 1975? That should have been 1973, which . The answer is, the gloriously southern-feeling, Up in Mississippi. Released on the Pepper label with a B-side titled Cause is Understood, it remains one of the rarest 7” vinyl recordings of any Tom Petty composition (credited as Thomas Petty on the single) The last copy I found that has been sold changed hands for $964 USD on February 3rd, 2020. Most of you guessed Depot Street, which was the first single released on the Shelter label, in 1974, before being reissued in 1975. So maybe I threw you off by giving you the wrong date!

Today’s question is this. On March 18, 2002, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Which famous New York hotel was the venue for the induction ceremony?

OK, back to the song!

I love that Tom says that he loves the chorus and that he wanted it to sound like, quote “A really good Dolly Parton” song. You really do get that sense from the great fifth harmonies, and that key change, which is almost reminiscent of 9 to 5, which I realize came out after this song, but it’s that same type of country device to really burst into the chorus that is pretty cool. Lyrically, this song is also quite cool to me in that you have the real pain of the protagnist’s experience “That’s right you hurt me baby, hurt me good” soaring above that beautiful major chord.

There are so many great lines in this song too; “Thank God for California, Thank God I’m going home”. There are so many times in our lives when we feel that relief about heading homeward. Then “Cut down the middle, face down in the dirt” is such a brutal way of describing someone who’s just been absolutely floored by heartbreak. “Might be the devil, might just be his friend” is another just killer line. He seemingly was able to just pull those vivid, visual lines out of thin air whenever he needed them. Tom’s vocal delivery is almost the inverse of You’re Gonna Get It, with him sitting in that seductive lower register through the verses before bursting into his higher range and especially belting those harmonies, in the choruses.


Petty Trivia

QUESTION: On March 18, 2002, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Which famous New York hotel was the venue for the induction ceremony?

ANSWER: The answer, the Waldorf Astoria, New York City’s legendary Park Avenue hotel. The Heartbreakers were inducted that year alongside some pretty heavyweight names, with new wave pioneers, Talking Heads, punk legends the Ramones, and then greats from other genres such as Chet Atkins, Isaac Hayes, Brenda Lee, and Gene Pitney all inducted as performers. During his induction speech, Jakob Dylan said it best: "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers made it clear, that while rock n roll will have its trends, and it will go through fads, it’s really about the opposite. It’s about being timeless."


I walked to the window
Turned out the light
Looked at the city
Went through the night
Yeah, I stood in the darkness
Stood all alone
Thank God for California
Thank God I'm going home

That's right, you hurt me baby
Hurt me good
Hurt me like no one else ever could
Cut me down the middle
Face down in the dirt
And we both know
It's too late to save it
Betcha feel proud about it baby
You taught me how to hurt

DC-10, 10:45
Halfway to LA, red in the eyes
Might be the devil
Might just be his friend
It don't make no difference
You ain't gettin' me again

That's right, you hurt me baby
Hurt me good
Hurt me like no one else ever could
Cut me down the middle
Face down in the dirt
And we both know
It's too late to save it
Betcha feel proud about it baby
You taught me how to hurt