We’ve lost a legend, and now the world is looking to you, Tom. Don’t let us all down.
1. Become the raw embodiment of pansexuality
Listen, Tom, now that Prince is dead, you’re going to have to become rock and roll’s main pansexual idol. When people go to a Tom Petty concert from here on out, they should be able to expect a kaleidoscopic sexual odyssey that makes them question the boundary between the masculine and the feminine, and challenges their very conception of what gender even means. We know you’re more of a T-shirt-and-jeans guy, but fate has appointed you the androgynous sex god the world needs during this difficult time.
2. Triple your vocal range
Prince had unrivaled vocal command over a range spanning nearly five octaves, regularly breaking new sonic ground by transforming his voice into yet another supernatural instrument in his already stacked musical arsenal. So, yeah, big shoes to fill, but it’s not up for debate. Heavy lies the crown, Tom.
3. Write a sexier version of “Refugee”
“Refugee” is a classic song, but it definitely lacks the erotic innuendo Prince was famous for. Adding lyrics like “It don’t really matter to me / Exactly how we get freaky” would make the song much more sexual. We know this is a little against the grain for you, but there simply isn’t time to hem and haw about this right now, Tom Petty.
4. Become a black icon
We just lost an African-American musical pioneer who championed social causes, and Tom, you’re over here with your thumb in your ass singing “Free Fallin’” for the millionth time. Quit dicking around on the classic-rock radio circuit and make yourself a beacon for black America, and do it ASAP.
5. Do more with your groin
Tom, there’s no way to sugarcoat this. Now that Prince has passed away, it falls to you to be the rock star who does a lot of stuff with his groin. Your groin is going to have to play a much larger role in your art so that Prince’s death is just a little easier for the world to take. Thanks in advance for stepping up, groin-wise.
6. Every now and then, say some totally crazy shit that’s not crazy enough to make anyone stop liking you but just crazy enough to make you seem absolutely goddamn fascinating
All right, now this is the hardest one, Tom, but we’re going to need you to give it your best shot. Prince was absolutely phenomenal at saying weird shit every now and then that was totally insane but basically benign, making us love him even more just for being him. Tom, please. Please. Please, please, please promise you’ll take up this torch and say more weird shit from time to time. The world is in mourning.