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An American Man With Few Peers

Chip Franklin



“Well I don’t know, but I’ve been told,
You never slow down, you never grow old.”

Tom Petty’s sudden departure has affected me profoundly. Maybe because he left me when I needed him most, with the world seemingly beginning to unravel. I don’t know. But I just didn’t love his music, I loved Tom Petty. From the sound of his voice, to depth of his character, I can’t remember a significant period of my life when I wasn’t listening to his music; his strong, yet fragile voice. And those songs…He is what music is supposed to be.

America has changed so much since Tom Petty came into my life. He sang to me before CD’s, before MTV, before Reagan, Clinton, cable TV, and the internet.  And then there was 20 more years. His music was always with me, always in my head. Always connecting.

“Time to move on, time to get going, what lies ahead I have no way of knowing…”

This is a difficult time for everyone. For me, for our nation. Right now I feel lost; undefined. But then I do what I’ve always done in times like these; turn to music. San Francisco Journalist Ezinne Ukoha lifted me up this morning as she wrote of Petty and her sense of loss;  “I will get it all back again — thanks to the guy who used his love for country as an invitation and not a barrier. Like real musicians do.”

Tom Petty was in bad health recently, but he kept his promise to his fans and himself. He was my dearest friend, and probably yours too. And he never slowed down, he never grew old.

Franklin is a 25 year veteran of talk radio, beginning his career in Washington DC during Clinton’s first term. He currently hosts the afternoon show at KGO radio, San Francisco. Chip is also an award-winning filmmaker, comedian, and scribe, garnering seven Edward R Murrow awards, including the National Murrow award for writing. He’s also won The New York Festival honors for his unconventional coverage of The Democratic and Republican conventions, as well as more than 30 AP awards for broadcasting. Chip has made numerous appearances on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and CNN.

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