Jackets and Chains

When you pass Johnny Rzeznik’s dressing room, you see a wardrobe case filled with, as Tom Petty puts it, leather jackets and chains that will jingle. 

You also see several photos of his wife and infant daughter, purpose and stability discovered in his early fifties after a predictably circuitous path. 

He’s five years sober now, performing with the fire of someone who knows how lucky he has it, and how easily it could’ve gone the other way.

I think about Johnny Rzeznik and so many others, people with magnificently warped DNA and way too much fuck you not to indulge rampaging inner demons. 

The upside’s an “Iris,” a song we’ve literally sent into freaking outer space. 

The downside? If you’re not careful, maybe the good stuff, the really good stuff, passes you by.

On this tour, I’m a little fish in a big pond, and it’s my job, simply, to pay attention.