F2K10 is a countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010. Track our progress here.
Here is the moment where Jeff Lynne finally captures the hard-earned title of “second worst Wilbury.”
Tom Petty doing a reggae song broke my brain. Usually when a misguided, quasi-hippie dudebro takes an earnest, po-faced trip to Bonaroo island, I have a stockpile of easy gags to go too–Bob Marley posters in the ol’ dorm room, telling mom you’ve converted to Rastafarianism freshman year. But Tom Petty is no Ras Trent. He’s a 60-year-old man. He’s old enough to be on posters with Bob Marley, if he were cool and dead like Jim Morrison. This is more like your dad using his golden years to follow around 311. Joke scientists haven’t even discovered a word for this (though I recommend “Irie-tirement”).
“Don’t Pull Me Over” combines the halting, all-elbows island rhythms of a gang of AARP-members doing Peter Tosh with the sad croon of poor, hapless, beaten-down working man Tom multimillionaire Petty crying “Don’t pull me over, Mr. Pooooliceman.” As far as I can tell, the two underlying messages of the songs are 1)”it [marijuana] should be lee-goo-lized” and 2) Tom Petty fans will listen to anything as long as he drags his husk out and plays “American Girl” once in a while. Seriously this makes the music videos of him trading spit with dead-ass Kim Basinger look sane as hell.
Also, hey Mike Campbell, how about some more wah-wah pedal on that guitar solo, you fuck.
As Petty told Rolling Stone, “We were having so much fun recording that we had to force ourselves to pull the plug — it could have gone on and on.” Congrats dude, it totally feels like it does!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 17, 2010