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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Last DJ by Tom Petty

The Last DJ by Tom Petty doesn't chronicle just the end of the rebellious individuality of the DJ who refuses to sell out to the machine, it really laments the death of American radio altogether. 

It was inspired by DJ Jim Ladd (click here) the last of the free-form American DJs. Anyone who grew up in Los Angeles in the 1970's into the 1980's knows Jim Ladd from his stints at KMET and KLOS. While not my favorite DJ, his shows during the week played lots of stuff that would later be known as the staple known as "classic rock" in the present day.

But that is what is so great about The Last DJ. It's not about what I want, or you want, or anyone else wants. It's about the radio as an art form, and music as it's medium. It's about a fading art that is becoming as distant as the disc itself, and the disappearance of another piece of our rock and roll culture, independence, and history.

It almost sounds more like a lament, than a celebration.



The Last DJ (Tom Petty)
Well you cant turn him into a company man
you cant turn him into a whore
and the boys upstairs just dont understand anymore
well the top brass dont like him talking so much
and he wont play what they say to play
and he dont wanna change what dont need to change

Chorus:

And there goes the last DJ
who plays what he wants to play
and says what he wants to say
hey hey hey
and there goes your freedom of choice
there goes the last human voice
and there goes the last DJ

And some folks say there gonna hang him so high
cause you just can't do what he did
theres some things you just cant put in the minds of those kids
as we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs wanna see
how much youll pay for what you used to get for free

Chorus:
And there goes the last DJ
who plays what he wants to play
and says what he wants to say
hey hey hey
and there goes your freedom of choice
there goes the last human voice
and there goes the last DJ

well he got a new station down in mexico
and some times it will kinda come in
and I'll bust a move
and remeber how it was back then

Chorus:
And there goes the last DJ
who plays what he wants to play
and says what he wants to say
hey hey hey
and there goes your freedom of choice
there goes the last human voice
and there goes the last DJ

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