More Titles

Here are a few more titles.

Sometimes People Just Die

I have been getting into post-rock. I listen to a YouTube channel at work with a lot of post-rock, and some of the songs have interesting titles. One band that I like is Collapse Under The Empire.

Penobscot Washer Girl

Whenever someone claims they are part Native American, they always say one of their ancestors was a “Cherokee Princess.” Never another tribe. Never a male ancestor. And never a commoner.

Maybe some people are just dumb. I guess some people think, “I’m white, I have dark hair, I must be part Native American! Therefore, Cherokee Princess!” Granted, some families have been here a while. Maybe some people are part Native American. But why is it always a Cherokee princess?

And for the record, lots of white people have dark hair.

Transparent Codpiece

I am not naked, m’lady, I am wearing a transparent codpiece. I have no idea how this occurred to me.

Lady Playing the Veena by  Raja_Ravi_Varma (29 April 1848 – 2 October 1906), assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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2018-03 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for March, 2018.

The monthly dividend income came out to $1100.29. The yearly income total for 2018 through the end of the month was $1226.31.

The income for March, 2017 was $805.35, and the yearly income for 2017 through the end of March was $1490.28.

The total was not too bad for a “C” month (March, June, September and December), as David Fish calls them. The problem is my totals for the prior “A” and “B” months were low, and this quarter only happened due to getting dividends on stocks after I sold them. That will not repeat in the future.

I think my total for 2018 will be lower than for 2017. I have still not re-invested all the money I got from selling my stocks. Everyone says you should have a cash cushion, and now my cushion is bigger. I might buy some more stocks and get my cash to the same amount as before, so that will increase my income going forward.

Another thing that will make my income lower than before is that before I only bought stocks that had yields of at least 2% (at least at the time I bought them). Many of these ETFs have stocks with yields that are lower than that, so that will dampen things. But then again, I keep saying that I am not just going for price.

One thing that might change things in the future is that I have more international stocks. Many companies outside the US do not pay the same amount for all four quarters. Many, like Vodafone, pay twice a year, in unequal amounts. I think the first quarter was pretty light. But all in all, while my income may be lower for this year, I still think that the dividends will increase, and with them, my happiness.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each March from 2011 through 2018:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2018-03 $1226.31 $1100.29 $408.77 $606.08
2017-03 $1490.28 $805.35 $496.76 $517.88
2016-03 $1352.29 $732.13 $450.76 $470.38
2015-03 $1179.82 $612.48 $393.27 $390.27
2014-03 $934.15 $437.87 $311.38 $301.75
2013-03 $719.36 $360.85 $239.79 $292.68
2012-03 $792.26 $294.68 $264.09 $269.92
2011-03 $645.19 $229.43 $200.06 $163.15

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for February, 2018:

  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $33.23
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $8.74
  • RLI Corp: $29.09
  • Vanguard Utilities ETF: $168.43
  • Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF: $159.10
  • Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation ETF: $39.62
  • Vanguard REIT ETF: $143.41
  • Vanguard Global ex-US Real Estate ETF: $15.46
  • Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF: $243.36 (I have this in two accounts)
  • Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF: $183.43
  • Vanguard International High Dividend Yield ETF: $76.42

Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, Rome by  Giovanni Antonio Canal (18 October 1697 – 19 April 1768), AKA Canaletto, which is Italian for “Canaletto”, assumed allowed under Fair Use. This guy has a LOT of nice landscapes.

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2018-02 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for February, 2018.

The monthly dividend income came out to $66.43. The yearly income total for 2018 through the end of the month was $126.02.

The income for February, 2017 was $466.05, and the yearly income for 2017 through the end of February was $684.93.

A big chunk of this month’s income came from Vodafone. I guess I sold after the ex-date, or the record date, or something. I plan on holding my ETFs for a long time, so frankly the difference between these dates is irrelevant to me. I know there are some people who go in and out of dividend stocks to get the payout, but I am not one of those people. Granted, I did sell most of my stocks recently and put the money into ETFs, but I held some of those stocks for six years.

The bond ETFs do not pay as much as I thought, especially the international one. I am toying with the idea of getting some Wisdom Tree ETFs. They pay every month. I will sit down and make a spreadsheet to see if getting one payment every three months is any different than getting three smaller payments once a month.

So far, I have not put as much into ETFs as I have put into stocks. I still have a lot of cash. So the drop in stock prices is not as bad as it could have been for me. But if I stay with this strategy it will probably take a while until I beat my previous records.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each February from 2012 through 2018:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2018-02 $126.02 $66.43 $654.60 $581.51
2017-02 $684.93 $466.05 $570.90 $511.78
2016-02 $620.16 $383.08 $524.89 $460.41
2015-02 $567.34 $353.85 $492.40 $375.72
2014-02 $496.28 $336.61 $363.62 $295.33
2013-02 $358.51 $248.39 $348.20 $287.16
2012-02 $497.58 $308.90 $337.51 $264.48

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for February, 2018:

  • Vodafone: $21.15
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $35.42
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $9.86

“The Visitation” by El Greco (1541 – 7 April 1614), housed at Dumberton Oaks assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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Notes On Options

I used to know someone who traded on the floor of the NYSE. Here is something they told me about options. I wrote it on a piece of paper years ago that I just found recently.

call (right to buy) – in the money when market above strike price

put (right to sell) – in the money when market below strike price

x Buy (long underlying) Sell (short underlying)
Call limited risk, unlimited gain limited gain, unlimited risk
Put limited risk, unlimited gain limited gain, unlimited risk

If selling has limited gain and unlimited risk, why do it? From what I wrote: “Premium upfront ( most options expire worthless); Higher chance of making money; may sell near maturity”.

From another sheet:

Options – downside – limited to price

short option – limited gain, unlimited loss. Cash upfront. Margin required.

Covered call – write call/put -> selling that option

Self portrait of  Zinaida Serebriakova (1884-1967), assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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2018-01 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for January, 2018.

The monthly dividend income came out to $59.59. The yearly income total for 2018 through the end of the month was $59.59.

The income for January, 2017 was $218.88, and the yearly income for 2017 through the end of January was $218.88.

The total is a lot lower because I have sold almost all of my stocks and put my money into ETFs. I have a couple of bond ETFs. Most of the rest pay dividends, either because dividends are the focus, or they are in industries that pay higher than average dividends, like utilities and real estate.

I got some real estate because I am leaning towards the philosophy of The Index Show (brought to you by the same guy who does ETF Guide) of getting into the major asset classes of stocks, bonds, cash, real estate and commodities. I might not get into commodities because few commodities ETFs pay dividends since they are not open-ended investment companies like most ETFs. They have structures that require them to send K-1 forms and could saddle me with a tax liability. I might look into them later.

The only dividend payout was from Kimberly-Clark. I guess I sold before the ex-date, or the record date, or something. I never really kept track of all of that. I don’t think it matters if you plan on holding something for a few years. I held KMB for seven years.

I kept a spreadsheet of when all the different stocks I own and stocks I was watching paid dividends, and I had a tab for all the transactions. I just got tired of spending all that time doing that. I was expending a lot of energy on which stocks to buy. I sold Kellogg, and then it shot up after I sold it. I got tired of the roller coaster. I was kind of building my own index by hand anyway. I bought stocks with at least a 2% yield (at least at the time I bought them), with a P/E ratio less than 20, with a payout ratio below 75% that had been paying dividends for at least 5 years. That sounds like an ETF.

I was expending a lot of energy keeping track of small things. In my first cycle of stock buying, I bought as many shares as I could for $1000. Back then, that got me 12 shares of 3M (MMM). Each quarter, I got just under one-tenth of a share of MMM. Why think about that? I got tired of getting more balance between the A, B and C months. I got tired of worrying about which industry to get into or out of. Should I follow the lead of the Norway pension fund and get out of oil? Maybe. Maybe I will agonize about other things, but I felt like it was time for a change.

The ETFs that I am buying all hold more stocks than I had. Some of the stocks they own have lower yields than what I had, so it is possible my income will go down at first. It might take another ten years to reach my new high mark. I hope not.

I also have a utility ETF, which I got for the yield. I might get an insurance ETF. I might buy something again in my taxable account. Things are up in the air. The stock ETFs pay quarterly, and the bond funds pay every month except January. So this might be the last January update for a while.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each January from 2012 through 2018:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2018-01 $59.59 $59.59 $819.32 $614.81
2017-01 $218.88 $218.88 $584.54 $504.86
2016-01 $237.08 $237.08 $550.81 $457.97
2015-01 $213.49 $213.49 $471.54 $374.28
2014-01 $159.67 $159.67 $335.67 $287.98
2013-01 $110.12 $110.12 $348.07 $292.20
2012-01 $188.68 $188.68 $316.66 $256.77

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for January, 2018:

  • Kimberly-Clark: $59.59

Painting by Kim Hong-do (1745-1814), assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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2017-12 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for December, 2017.

The monthly dividend income came out to $1837.78. The yearly income total for 2017 through the end of the month was $7536.98.

The income for December, 2016 was $1027.76, and the yearly income for 2016 through the end of December was $6076.53.

I am in the process of selling most of my stocks and putting my money in ETFs, with an emphasis on dividend growth ETFs. I plan on writing more about this in the future. Subtracting the ETF income, I still made $6720.72. That is still more than I made last year. In addition, I also beat my 2007 total of $6575.54.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each December from 2011 through 2017:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2017-12 $7536.98 $1837.78 $913.40 $628.08
2016-12 $6076.53 $1027.76 $605.28 $506.38
2015-12 $5472.07 $954.52 $575.86 $456.01
2014-12 $4438.02 $909.86 $481.67 $369.80
2013-12 $3406.20 $594.59 $344.05 $283.85
2012-12 $3585.01 $686.10 $386.41 $298.75
2011-12 $3091.99 $514.94 $323.40 $253.92

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for December, 2017:

  • AFLAC Inc: $50.51
  • American States Water Co: $29.95
  • Black Hills Corp: $18.27
  • Bemis Co Inc: $32.64
  • Vectren Corp: $28.33
  • Aqua America: $35.21
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland Co: $39.57
  • Honeywell International: $77.29
  • Sonoco Products Co: $53.81
  • Chevron: $28.04
  • Emerson Electric Co: $54.28
  • Exxon Mobil Corp: $94.33
  • Johnson & Johnson: $89.48
  • 3M Co: $16.77
  • Walgreen Co: $24.04
  • Dover Corp: $11.46
  • Consolidated Edison Inc: $23.14
  • Coca-Cola Co: $51.71
  • Vanguard Utilities ETF: $93.54
  • Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation ETF: $51.72
  • RLI Corp: $28.15
  • RLI Corp: $234.54
  • Vanguard REIT ETF: $252.72
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $7.40
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF: $34.84
  • Vanguard Total International Bond ETF: $138.20
  • Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF: $109.22
  • Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF: $128.62

Wall painting from Room H of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale available at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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2017-11 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for November, 2017.

The monthly dividend income came out to $560.60. The yearly income total for 2017 through the end of the month was $5699.20.

The income for November, 2016 was $506.98, and the yearly income for 2016 through the end of November was $5048.77.

I am in the process of selling most of my stocks and putting my money in ETFs, with an emphasis on dividend growth ETFs. I plan on writing more about this in the future.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each November from 2011 through 2017:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2017-11 $5699.20 $560.60 $559.31 $560.58
2016-11 $5048.77 $506.98 $502.98 $500.27
2015-11 $4517.55 $460.83 $477.55 $452.28
2014-11 $3528.16 $291.27 $357.30 $343.53
2013-11 $2811.61 $252.75 $277.74 $291.48
2012-11 $2898.91 $247.99 $262.78 $284.49
2011-11 $2577.05 $246.37 $232.84 $240.81

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for November, 2017:

  • AT&T: $53.95
  • Verizon: $64.58
  • WGL Holdings Inc: $18.31
  • ABM Industries Inc: $9.95
  • Lowe’s Cos Inc: $22.96
  • Air Products & Chemicals Inc: $64.92
  • Clorox Co: $50.16
  • Texas Instruments: $68.84
  • Colgate-Palmolive: $46.00
  • Hormel Foods Corp: $16.94
  • Northwest Natural Gas Co: $30.04
  • Procter & Gamble: $43.02
  • Eaton Corporation: $70.93

“Crucible of Creation”  taken by the Hubble Telescope and released by NASA on November 20th, 1995. Image from Hubble Site, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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2017-10 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for October, 2017.

The monthly dividend income came out to $341.83. The yearly income total for 2017 through the end of the month was $5138.63.

The income for October, 2016 was $281.09, and the yearly income for 2016 through the end of October was $4541.79.

There is not a whole lot to report this month. Just rolling along and making money.

I might sell Kellogg. They were below my cost basis, and I was thinking they might not be profitable for some time. I do invest in stocks for the cash flow and not capital gains, but that does not mean I want to take a loss. If a firm cuts its dividend and the price has dropped, then I still lose money.

I had thought that getting into a food stock would be good since everybody needs to eat. However, that does not seem to be working out. Both Kellogg and General Mills have not increased their revenue and/or profits by a whole lot over the past few years. Even Coke is having problems keeping revenue growing, and they have Warren Buffett on their speed dial. Kellogg did get a boost in earnings from a weaker dollar. But I don’t know if I should count on that in the future. An article on Bloomberg about this had a quote from Ken Shea, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence: “They’re really tripling down on cost cuts, which tells me they know the top line is not going to turn in their favor any time soon.” It reminds me of a quote from Starbucks founder Howard Schultz: “Cutting prices or putting things on sale is not sustainable business strategy. The other side of it is that you can’t cut enough costs to save your way to prosperity.”

Berkshire Hathaway was behind the merger of Kraft and Heinz, and from what I have read KraftHeinz is also relying on cost cuts to make a profit. Maybe food is not a good industry to be in. There is also a lot of churn in the agricultural trading industry. I hope that my investment in ADM will work out. I might wait a while before buying Bunge.

On a side note, Glencore tried to buy Bunge a while back. Part of the pitch to investors is that doing so would break up the “ABCD” quartet of ADM, Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus. But is “AGCD” any better than “ABCD”? Or is reducing the quartet to a trio any better?

One reason that I was looking to invest in food is that I thought that people would pay for something they need. It turns out they will, but people want low prices for things they need. Many people will pay a lot of money for things they want, like electronics. Or things they want but have convinced themselves they need, like iPhones.

On the other hand, water stocks seem to be doing pretty well.

WRT energy, I did see an article on Bloomberg’s site about Exxon’s research and investment into green energy. Hopefully they are sincerely looking into it, and not backing smaller companies to buy their technologies and take them out of the market.

I am also looking at insurance. It seems like a no-brainer: a financial product people need. But I wonder how climate change is going to affect insurance. Berkshire Hathaway‘s insurance divisions lost money due to natural disasters. Travelers and Munich Re were also negatively affected by natural disasters.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each October from 2011 through 2017:

 

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2017-10 $5138.63 $341.83 $566.34 $556.11
2016-10 $4541.79 $281.09 $508.05 $496.43
2015-10 $4056.72 $312.23 $459.42 $438.15
2014-10 $3236.89 $243.87 $368.19 $340.32
2013-10 $2558.86 $184.81 $295.19 $291.08
2012-10 $2650.92 $225.14 $285.46 $284.35
2011-10 $2330.68 $208.90 $258.17 $238.44

 

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for October, 2017:

  • Automatic Data Processing: $35.28
  • Coca-Cola Co: $51.28
  • MDU Resources Group Inc.: $11.81
  • Kimberly-Clark: $59.11
  • Illinois Tool Works: $44.60
  • Leggett & Platt, Incorporated: $54.73
  • Chubb Corp: $45.86
  • Sysco Corp: $20.03
  • RPM International Inc.: $19.13

“Edge of a Wheatfield with Poppies” (1887) by Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853-July 29, 1890), assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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More Thoughts On Idea Machines

I have started making daily lists of ten ideas a day per James Altucher‘s suggestion. I got Claudia’s book and I am reading it using the online Kindle reader. Hopefully it will lead to something better. (Claudia is James’ ex-wife.)

It sounds almost too good to be true. Just

  1. write down ten ideas,
  2. *** magic happens ***,
  3. profit.

I listed a few people who wrote about it in a previous post, and I have found a few more since then. Many people report the same effect. I think that perhaps helping develop and/or reinforce consistency might also be a factor.

A couple of things made me stop in the past. One is that I kept coming with idea lists about idea lists. It was getting too meta for me. I don’t want to make idea lists about making idea lists (process, results, lists of ideas for future lists), but it might not be a bad thing to do every once in a while to have a backlog of possible topics, like agile teams keeping a backlog.

Another is that since then I have gotten more serious about meditation. Wouldn’t quieting the mind and accelerating it be at odds with each other? Meditation seems to stop unnecessary thought. Becoming an idea machine seems to be about spawning thoughts. Is it possible to do this and meditation? According to Claudia, it is. Plus, some advanced meditators say that with meditation you can change the speed/volume of your thoughts. Granted, it takes a while to get to that point.

There were a few other reasons I kind of hesitated attempting the idea list practice and were arguments against. One is: Wouldn’t freelance writers be more successful than they are, or at least more quickly? Don’t they deal in ideas all the time?

Another is that James wrote his daily practice helped him turn his life around. But now he is divorced from Claudia. I guess I assumed he would stay together with her. It seemed like a sign of his success after a divorce and multiple bankruptcies. Making the same mistake AFTER you are doing the right thing is kind of an argument against what you are doing. But according to his blog, he seems to be bouncing back. (I still have not gotten to his podcasts; it’s on my to-do list.) It looks like Claudia is taking longer to bounce back. Or she just might be keeping a low profile. She want about a year without any blog posts or tweets, but it looks like she is starting to post more consistently.

One inspiration for starting is that James wrote a post in July about how he has lived off of his ideas for 20 years. He mentions that he might give an online/email course about becoming an idea machine. The outline looks pretty interesting. The response was overwhelmingly positive, but so far I do not think there are any updates. His big thing now is doing standup. He hints that one thing he would cover in this course is how he got started writing down 10 ideas a day. On one of his pages he implies he got it from somewhere else. In another post he implies he did it to get interviews.

Another inspiration to get started again is a story that I saw on Hacker News in August  linking to a site called “Random Ideas“:  “The point is to get the brain thinking, to exercise the brain muscle.” That sounds like James Altucher. A few commenters also said they had started doing the same thing, or that the site inspired them. One commenter pointed out that coming up with 3650 ideas in a year would “be an amazing accomplischment [sic] of endurance”, although the guy stopped after a month. Random Ideas are usually lists with items that are not related, generally ten business ideas. I know Altucher says you should do ten ideas on a topic, and there is something to be said for being creative within contraints, but I had a hard time coming up with topics. To follow Altucher’s method, you really need eleven ideas: the first being the topic, then ten more for your list. Perhaps it might be okay to just make random lists to keep the momentum. (See Note 1 below.)

Another inspiration is that the project I am on at work is reducing staff in a couple of months. I work for a big, multinational consulting firm. I am on a team that makes an app for a state government, and while they are happy with us, the department is having to cut their budget. So I kind of need something that will make me a wild success. I asked about some training, but I was told that company policy states that the project would have to pay for it. The problem is that they are rolling a bunch of us off because they have no money. So there goes that idea. On the other hand, my manager is an Indian guy who not only has a thick accent, but also mumbles. It’s possible I completely misunderstood what he said.

I have no desire to be a manager. Right now I have to put up with decisions I do not like. If I were a manager, I would have to justify other peoples’ bad decisions to still more people. I have no desire to do that at all. So I need to change how I think and I need to change my life. For reasons I will not go into, getting on a project in Austin is highly unlikely.

So I am working through Claudia’s book. I started on October 1. So far it is okay. I might have stopped at nine once or twice, and sometimes my understanding of the question changed while I was coming up with my ten answers but I just kept going. One guy wrote somewhere that he did not like some of Claudia’s topics. One of them is to come up with ten yoga poses. It is a bit hard when you know nothing about yoga.

One thing I have found is there are more people than I thought who are doing this, in addition to the people I found online the last time I posted about this.

One is a site called idealist.today that sent out idea list topics for about a year. They recently stopped. I subscribed, so I have a backlog to use if I need it. They have a facebook group. I am not into facebook, but I might log on to see if there are any success stories.

Another site is 10 Ideas A Day which will give you themes, lets you submit themes, and has a few links to other sites. Some of the links are out of date. Here is one of Claudia on a podcast talking about becoming an idea machine, one of someone on Claudia’s podcast, and someone sharing their lists as they go through Claudia’s book.

A guy named D.R. Fideler who moved to Sarejevo got the idea bug from James. He has a post and a PDF about it. It sounds like this guy goes into some detail with his lists. Some are “complete business plans”. Maybe I am not putting enough into my answers. Or maybe the magic will just take longer. Looking at James’ post “How To Have GREAT Ideas” my one-sentence ideas might be too short. Maybe each of the ideas should be lists themselves, like SMART goals.

Chris Remus wrote about it here,  which I think is a copy of this article. He gives you a list of ideas.

Let’s not forget this one and this one and this one.

I plan on emailing some of these people to get a bit more info on their daily idea list practice.

  • How long have you been doing this?
  • Do you still do it?
  • Was there a gap?
  • When did you start seeing results?
  • What results have you seen?
  • How long does it take to come up with ten ideas?
  • How long/many sentences is each idea?
  • Where do you get your topics from?
  • Do you ever share your ideas? If so, how?

 


Note 1: He spelled dubious as “dubias” in a post bad-mouthing educators. The one time in life you want to have perfect spelling is when you are saying you are smarter than someone else. (“Dubias” is a species of cockroach; I am assuming he misspelled “dubious”.)

In all seriousness, I would love to know if this guy has read James’ blog and/or Claudia’s book. I looked up his domain on whois, but after a few steps his registrar uses a registrar that uses itself as its own registrar. Using the “Yo Dawg” trick to hide in plain sight.


Here are a couple of more posts from James Altucher’s website:

Fragment of a manuscript by Wang Zhideng (1535–1612) available at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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Thoughts On Tom Petty

There was an article on Bloomberg the day he died (but presumably before he actually did) that reports of his death were false. (I cannot find the article on the Bloomberg site.) Like Jackie Chan. Then a week later, I saw a cartoon about it on Bradblog.com which inspired me to do some more searching.

So it was more Abe Vigoda than Jackie Chan.

I was a fan back in high school and into college. I had all the Heartbreakers records up through “Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)”, and his first solo record. But eventually I got out of the loop. When I was younger, I did not want to become one of those older people who just listened to the same stuff from their youth. But that is kind what happened to me.

I used to listen to WXRT a lot in my car. But then I moved closer to the lake, and I took the CTA to work, so I spent a LOT less time driving. In addition, at some point I lost the antenna on my car. I think a car wash tore it off. I tried a few times to use a radio in my apartment to get WXRT, but for some reason the reception was terrible. I have fallen behind on Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan as well. And I have no idea who the new bands are in rock and roll. I will try to pick some of it up again. I was so out the loop on Tom Petty that I did not find out about the death of Howie Epstein and the departure of Stan Lynch until several years after both events happened.

One thing I did find odd about Tom Petty is: Why did he do solo records? He was the leader of the Heartbreakers, he sang, he wrote the songs. I don’t see what he was not getting from that arrangement. On the other hand, you could argue he never really did a solo record. Mike Campbell was on all his records (except the Traveling Wilburys, which obviously is not a solo project). I always felt that unless Petty worked on his own without Campbell, he wasn’t really going solo. Granted, Mike Campbell is an amazing guitar player, so I can see why Petty wanted him around. I guess I am using a pretty strict definition of “solo” here.

I know there is a documentary out about him, and an authorized biography of him by Warren Zanes. Apparently Petty felt he made some mistakes in his life there were not in the film, but were discussed in the book.

I did see them live with Bob Dylan on their “True Confessions” tour (June 29, 1986, to be precise).

I also had their live album “Pack Up The Plantation” and the concert film of the same name for their “Southern Accents” tour. I think I taped off of MTV. I think I watched that at least two dozen times. A couple of things that I remember from that is being impressed by both Mike Campbell and the drummer Stan Lynch. I was surprised to later learn that Stan Lynch was not confident in his drumming, but this may have been earlier than the “Southern Accents” tour. But on “Pack Up The Plantation”, he was pretty awesome. And the coolest Heartbreaker ever.

So in addition to looking into what Springsteen and Pearl Jam have been up to, and finding some bands that are more contemporary, I have to catch up on what Tom Petty with and without the Heartbreakers had been up to for more than a decade. Going forward, there may not be any more Tom Petty music that will be new to the world, but there is still some out there that will be new to me.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their final tour (but NOT the final show), available at Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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