Wednesday, October 17, 2007


A few opening thoughts on the new Tom Petty documentary just released to DVD by Best Buy.  I'll keep to the Jeff Lynne-relevent parts.

The story of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers needed the four full hours to tell.  The pace of the documentary is nice and even, but I can't imagine being in a theatre for that long regardless of the topic.  Anyway, of course, my main interest in this documentary is when Jeff entered the picture.

I suppose I expected to see some new raw footage from the Roy Orbison, Wilburys, Full Moon Fever sessions because there seems to have a been a good deal of videotape rolled around this time.

Instead, they (and by they I mean Bagdanovich) lifted the exact part of recording You Got It from a previous documentary, Going Home.  When it got to the Wilburys, all of the video was essentially lifted from the recently released True History of the Traveling Wilburys documentary... even down to the May 1988 date stamp used on the DVD!  I shit you not.

The filmmakers apparently had nothing to b-roll the Highway Companion part of the documentary.  They ended up using those horrendous music videos made for a few of the songs, plus some b-roll shot after Jeff gave his (recent) interview for the film.

One thing I was glad to see was Jeff's role as a producer put in perspective.  Tom Petty draws the difference between making a record and playing live.  Some people just can't separate the two, which may partially explain the visceral response Jeff Lynne gets by some critics.

More thoughts to follow...

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