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Strange Maps

238 – Runnin’ Down A Dream: Tom Petty’s Map of LA

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Here’s a map reminiscent of the Bruceville map – another piece of musical cartography treated earlier on this blog (entry #134). This one charts the haunts of Tom Petty, an “undercelebrated rock and roll icon”, in the words of LA Weekly, which recently featured this map.

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Petty’s been around in LA for over 3 decades, ever since he drove cross-country from Gainesville (FL) to get a record deal for his first band Mudcrutch. Petty’s musical entourage eventually morphed into the Heartbreakers, with whom he achieved success from 1976 onwards – a career that culminated, recently, in a 4,5 hour long Peter Bogdanovich rockumentary on the band, a coffee table book (both entitled Runnin’ Down A Dream)… and, more importantly for this blog, a musical map of Los Angeles.

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The map not only shows some of the places relevant to Tom Petty’s life and career, but its tilted presentation and exaggeration of some geographical features paradoxically helps to get a better visual understanding of this sprawling city with the size and population of a not-even-so-small country.

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I’m just listing the places on the map to give you an idea what’s where. For the full stories behind each number, go to the article in LA Weekly.

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1. Sunset Boulevard; 2. Ben Frank’s Diner (now Mel’s Diner); 3. The Sunset Strip; 4. Shelter Records Office; 5. Hollywood Premiere Motel; 6. Canoga Park; 7. Travelodge Hotel; 8. The Winona; 9. The Alley; 10. Village Recorder; 11. London, U.K.; 12. Whisky A Go Go; 13. Sound City; 14. MCA Records; 15. Century City; 16. “FM radio” and “The freeway”; 17. Cello Studios; 18. The Smog; 19. The 101 Freeway; 20. Mulholland Drive; 21. Reseda; 22. Vampires on Ventura Boulevard; 23. Rose Bowl; 24. East L.A; 25. Viper Room; 26. LAX; 27. Dave Stewart’s house in Encino; 28. Sunset Sound; 29. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; 30. Universal Amphitheater (now the Gibson); 31. Petty’s home in Encino; 32. Charo’s house in Beverly Hills; 33. Le Seur; 34. Beverly Hills mansion designed by Wallace Neff; 35. Pacific Palisades “Chicken Shack”; 36. House of Blues; 37. McCabe’s Guitar Shop; 38. Malibu.

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Click on map to magnify. Many thanks to Kyle Hunsberger, who alerted me to this map.

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