I like Tom Petty's music, and I loved the Full Moon Fever album that came out in 1989, but... Shouldn't the Super Bowl's half-time show feature an artist who has topped the charts a little more recently? The song selection is telling: "American Girl," which was on the debut Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album in 1976; and "I Won't Back Down," "Free Fallin'," and "Runnin' Down A Dream," all of which came off Full Moon Fever. They're great songs for a tail-end Boomer like me, but how relevant are they to the twenty-somethings that were shown dancing around on the field in front of the stage? Why must a musical act be inducted into Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before they can play at the Super Bowl?
I guess it goes back to 2004's Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction." The NFL figures that if you have folks in their 50s and 60s out there on stage, they're less likely to prove an embarrassment on national television. Since 2004, it's been Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
Why is it that I suspect that when Super Bowl LXII rolls around in twenty years, we'll be watching some musical act from the mid-2000's doing the half-time show? Maybe a clean-and-sober Britney Spears, if she doesn't Anna Nicole herself.