Janis Joplin’s Influence On Tom Petty’s ‘The Waiting’
via Tom Petty/YouTube
From Something She Said
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers released “The Waiting” as the lead single of their 1981 album “Hard Promises”. It was also part of their setlist in Live Aid.
Petty once said that it took him a while to finish writing this song. He further shared how he found inspiration from fellow rocker Janis Joplin.
He explained, “Roger McGuinn swears he told me the line – about the waiting being the hardest part – but I think I got the idea from something Janis Joplin said on television. I had the chorus very quickly, but I had a very difficult time piecing together the rest of the song. It’s about waiting for your dreams and not knowing if they will come true. I’ve always felt it was an optimistic song.”
He said in Paul Zollo’s Conversations With Tom Petty that he got it from the Janis Joplin quote “I love being onstage. And everything else is just waiting.”
He recalled that he “had a really good chorus, and I had to work backwards from the chorus. So that’s always hard. But I was really determined that I was going to get it. And I got it. It just took me a long time. It took weeks of working on it.”
Check out the song below.