S5E10 The Same Old You

               
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Length: 16:07 - Release Date: October 26, 2022

"The song opens with Mike’s crunchy blues riff and some percussion in the background, most likely a woodblock. One thing that’s slightly surprising is that it’s in C. Most blues riffs are in G or E as they’re way easier to play on guitar, but hey, this is Mike Campbell!"

Today's episode is dedicated to the greasy, the sleazy, the Stonesy track from side two of Long After Dark; The Same Old You.

You can listen to the song here: https://youtu.be/lGPxPxO111c

Check out the live bootleg version here: https://youtu.be/zJIAgVVV0q0

You can also check out Robert Deyber's exceptional artistry here: https://www.robertdeyber.com/

Transcript

(* 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. Welcome to episode ten of season five of the Tom Petty Project Podcast! I am your host, Kevin Brown. This is the podcast that digs into the entire Tom Petty catalog song by song, album by album and includes conversations with musicians, fans, and people connected with Tom along the way. If you’re listening to this the week it’s released, a ton of Tom Petty fans will have very recently descended on the city of Gainesville, Florida for the Tom Petty Weekend celebration of Tom’s music. It’s somewhat crazy to think that I’ve interviewed four people who were fairly heavily involved in that weekend. The wonderful Dan Spiess, who produced the whole weekend, Jake Thistle and Jeff Slate who both performed solo and with the All-star band, as well as Paul Zollo, who with Jake and Jeff, took part in the storytellers sessions. I wanted to give a quick shout out to all of you Who posted live feeds, videos, and photos of the weekend. It really helped those of us who couldn’t be there to feel connected to the event.

After the intensity of Straight Into Darkness, this week we’re being treated musically to a straight up fun blues-rocker in The Same Old You, which is the midpoint track on side two orf Long After Dark. If you’re new to the podcast, I don’t actually play the song in the podcast itself as that gets really sticky with copyrights etc. So there’s a link in the episode notes where you can go listen to the track before I start talking about it.

It surprised me while trying to dig out info on this song to learn that Setlist.fm has only one record of it ever being played live, on the Long After Dark tour in 1982. What is somewhat less of a surprise is that it was played in England, in Coventry as one of five songs the performed from the album. So ironically, the song was possibly “sent to Coventry” after this and never dusted off again! If you’re unfamiliar with the idiom, being “sent to Coventry” is an English saying means to deliberately cut someone out or ostracize them. However, as I’ve noted, the song, to me, is really the band channeling the greasy blues rock of the Stones and the Faces, so perhaps it’s fitting that it’s only outing was on those bands’ home soil. There’s actually a fairly poor quality bootleg version of that live performance online, so I’ll add that to the episode notes for ya. 

The song opens with Mike’s crunchy blues riff and some percussion in the background, most likely a woodblock. One thing that’s slightly surprising is that it’s in C. Most blues riffs are in G or E as they’re way easier to play on guitar, but hey, this is Mike Campbell! Stan comes in right at the end of the 2nd bar and Benmont immediately after at the start of the third. So right away, this song is hanging around. You get that sense that it’s going to cut to the chase pretty quickly. Sure enough, after 8 bars of guitar, organ, drums, and some occasional vocal Ohs and Ays from Tom, the song swaggers straight into oncoming traffic and Howie fills out the sound by thumping through a fairly Ron Blair-esque walk around the chord progression on bass. Through the first verse, we just have that chopping staccato guitar riff, with Tom staying on vocal duties, snarling his way through his forced upper-mid range. Stan is keeping a fairly straight backbeat going here and adding in some double snare hits on the fourth measure of each bar. I can’t think of another example of him playing this type of pattern. The organ is dropped out of this section pretty much. If I had the isolated tracks, maybe Benmont is playing a straight C chord and it’s mixed really low, but you can’t really hear it here in any case. That riff sits around that C chord with an added suspended fourth note that doesn’t quite make it an F Chord and breaks into the chorus beautifully by dropping to G when the way Mike is playing changes entirely and he lets those big major chords ring out. The sound is really filled out here as Tom also joins the rhythm and Benmont’s organ is once again taking up some space in the higher register. Stan breaks up the straight backbeat with some kick drum notes between the beats. Vocally, Howie also joins Tom and you get this gorgeous big rock n roll sound. Again, it’s so very Stonesy to me. Kinda like Honky Tonk women in that hard edged, to shinier transition between the verse and chorus.

There’s then four bars of the main riff, with Mike adding in a couple of little solo licks over top of, I assume, Tom mirroring the riff. Into the second verse both guitars are now present, giving that riff a slightly thicker feel and Benmont is pulled back into the mix to keep things feeling less monochromatic and more lively. Stan and Howie keep the same groove going and Stan fills back into that second chorus in a different way from the first. 

Into the bridge, we’re still not hanging around, it’s full steam ahead. We’re only a minute and a half into the song and we’ve had two verses and two choruses. So no extra couple of bars coming out of that chorus, but straight into that minor key change. The chord progression still resolves down to that C major chord though and Tom and Howie adding in some great vocal work that sounds like a guitar solo, but for voices. Through this section, you can also hear a cowbell chugging along on count, Howie matching the descending chord progression and Stan backing off the double snare hits on the four counts. The last two bars then hang on that F chord before Tom wails us into the solo. I absolutely adore how Mike plays this solo. He starts us off with some single note bending before heading into some fantastic double-note and chord work that struts its way all over that main riff, with Tom playing it way straighter in the background to avoid muddying things up. The last two bars change direction a little, with everything dropping off on an F5 7th sustained chord and Benmont’s organ shining through, before Stan thunders the last verse into life with full measure double time snare fill. Here, you also get something I don’t think I’ve heard Mike do before and actually, something I can’t recall hearing much of at all in his playing; a big rock pick slide. This is when the guitarist just drags their pick down the strings and you get that jet engine type sound. It’s really common in hair metal from bands who seemingly can’t think of anything interesting to play and just isn’t something I can remember Mike really ever leaning back on. But it works so well here. 

Alright folks it’s time to put on your casquettes de réflexion, which is, according to Google Translate, French for “thinking caps” That’s right. It’s time for some Petty Trivia! 

Your question from last week was this;  Surrealist pop artist Robert Deyber created the album art for which album? a) Highway Companion, b) Into The Great Wide Open, c) Southern Accents, or d) Hypnotic Eye?

Well the Into The Great Wide Open artwork is called “Autumn Landscape”, which was painted in 1921 by Czech-American artist Jan Matulka. The painting on the cover Southern Accents is an 1865 work by Winslow Homer, titled “The Veteran in a New Field” and the artwork for Hypnotic Eye was developed by Jeri Heiden and Nick Steinhardt at SMOG Design, a boutique design firm in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles. And, as the wonderful Janet Lovell gave me a great bit of info about during our conversation, the Highway Companion album art was painted by Robert Deyber. If you didn’t listen to that conversation, I’d go give it a listen. Janet told me all about the artist and his work and showed me the book that she received from him which was personalized for her shortly before his untimely death! The eulogy on his website starts by describing the artist as “A visual raconteur” and goes on to say “Bob was a storyteller with a paintbrush, his mind’s eye planted deep within his subconscious, best known for his unique, visual interpretations of English sayings, idioms, euphemisms, cliches and Figures of Speech. It is the undecided tone between sincerity and irony that makes his visual vocabulary distinctly A Language All His Own, from literal translations of fanciful sayings to kitschy depictions of everyday terminology, showing off both his cultured brilliance and wicked sense of humor.” I’ll leave a link to his site in the episode notes so that you can check it out. He really is a singularly unique talent whose artwork both Tom and Dana were big fans of.

Your question for this week is this; The fantastic 6 LP Uber Deluxe edition of the Fillmore 1997 release cmes in a custom made what? Is it a) Top Hat box, b) embossed walnut record case, c) hand-made cymbal case, or d) a bespoke linen-lined hessian tote bag.

OK, back to the song. The last verse/chorus doesn’t throw up any realy surprises, but Tom changes up way he hits the melody on lines like “Heart of America”  in the last two lines and then really howls that last phrase, “let that sucker blast”. You can imagine any number of blues joints up and down the country in that moment, with low lighting, smoke and whiskey everywhere and a crummy old jukebox pounding out something like this in the corner while the patrons play pool and hit on one another. It just has that wonderful sleazy vibe. The verse gives way to the last chorus and Tom drawls his way through that lyric one last time. We then lead out with that main riff, Benmont adding in plenty more big organ and Stan filling in a lot more, while the cowbell keeps straight time. I would have loved to see this song live and if anyone knows of any of the tribute bands, or indeed any bar bands that knock this one out of the park, I’d love to see em.

The lyrics in this track are really just Tom having fun with some different images, like a 70s glam rocker in the first verse, a cocky young twenty-something in the second, and then a cool American vibing soul in the last. The chorus then strips away these facades or personas and reveals that lead line. “Way down deep it’s the same old you”. It’s something we can all relate to. We all wear different faces in different parts of our lives and just for a minute, you can keep people confused, but at our core, we know when we’re putting on an act and we also know that the people who know us best can see through it. Way down deep, we’re all the same old you. A fun, throwaway rock n roll song that is fun to dance to, fun to sing, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

OK folks, that’s all for this week. In Conversations with Tom Petty, Tom tells Paul Zollo “It had a good beat and a good groove. Not a real serious thing, just a good time” and I think that’s a perfect description of it. The track is one of four co-written efforts between Mike and Tom on the album and the one that, to me, feels most Campbell-esque. It almost feels like a dirty knobs-esque lick and the Knobs did play it live once, at the Crocodile in Seattle, in May of this year. Hopefully Mike adds it into the set more often because I think it’s a perfect compliment to a lot of the songs from External Combustion and Wreckless Abandon. This one really hits the sweet spot for me so I’m going to be careful not to over-egg it and rate it too highly, because obviously, it’s a straight blues rock jam with not a ton of sophistication or depth, but damn it if I don’t just dig the hell out of it!! I’m gonna give The Same Old You a 7 out of 10 and I won’t apologize at all for it!

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Petty Trivia

QUESTION: The fantastic 6 LP Uber Deluxe edition of the Fillmore 1997 release cmes in a custom made what? Is it a) Top Hat box, b) embossed walnut record case, c) hand-made cymbal case, or d) a bespoke linen-lined hessian tote bag.

ANSWER: While any of these would have been a brilliant container, the answer is c). The collection is housed in a hand-made custom-sized cymbal case produced by MadeWorn in LA. The set features 58 tracks on six discs, a 24 page booklet, 3 collectible guitar picks, a replica All Access laminate, a reprint of the 8-page fan newsletter published in 97, 10 replica set lists, an album art lithograph and an alternate colour foil lithograph, an alternate design record player mat, a playing card deck, an embroidered path, and a replica Fillmore House Band embroidered baseball hat. So it’s a hell of a collection. There’s currently a contest to win one of these sets and if you head over to my social media on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll be able to find a link to that. I have my fingers crossed almost to breaking point that I’m going to win this. I’ll be buying the 6LP Deluxe set anyway but if I win the Uber Deluxe, maybe I’ll do a giveaway on the Deluxe! So keep your fingers crossed for me!

Lyrics

Hey, I remember you back in '72
With your David Bowie hair and your platform shoes
Your part-time job selling fast food
But out on the street, you was nobody's fool

Baby, way down deep, it's the same old you
Way down deep, you ain't hiding the truth
Just for a minute, you had me fooled
But baby, way down deep, it's the same old you

Well you can walk through the city on fire
You can try and turn away from the truth
Living life like a young politician
Sure of yourself and bulletproof

But baby, way down deep, it's the same old you
Way down deep, you ain't hiding the truth
Just for a minute, you had me confused
Baby, way down deep, it's the same old you

We could buy a '62 Cadillac
Put a Fender amplifier in the back
Drive straight to the heart of America
Turn up to ten, let that sucker blast

Baby, way down deep, it's the same old you
Way down deep, you ain't hiding the truth
Just for a minute, you had me fooled
Baby, way down deep, it's the same old you

Same old you
Yeah

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