Tom Petty reflects on 40 years of songwriting


Tom Petty reflects on 40 years of songwriting

Forty years of practice has made songwriting harder, not easier, for Tom Petty.

By (AP)

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Published: Wed 23 Apr 2014, 11:44 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:31 PM

“As life goes by, you get a little more carefree or distracted by other things and you have to really police yourself — I do — into sitting down and doing something that pleases me,” the 63-year-old rocker said. “Plus, I’m trying to do things that I haven’t done before and not go over the same ground.”

Petty will accept the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Founders Award today in Los Angeles. “It’s very nice to get an award for songwriting,” Petty said. “I’m duly impressed.”

His process is much the same as it’s always been: Sit down with the guitar and see what comes. When inspiration strikes, “it’s a very real magic,” he said.

So magical, in fact, that he hesitates to examine it too closely. “It’s really hard to explain because I don’t really understand it myself,” he said. “I know that when we have time booked, like when we set aside time to make a record, that’s when I usually get pretty — I guess I get on the job as far as making sure I have enough songs, you know.”

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