Geoff Geis

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Cover song: “Rockin’ Around with You” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

Download “Rockin’ Around with You” (Tom Petty cover, featuring Sarah Cisco)

Boy, do I ever love Tom Petty. During the summer between fifth and sixth grade, it was a chance encounter with the “Into the Great Wide Open” that first inspired me to start paying attention to pop music. That led to a blossoming over the summer of ’94 and my discovery of groups like Nirvana, R.E.M., Beck, and Green Day. But while I loved “alternative music,” Tom Petty was my favorite. I had three of his albums before I had any albums by anyone else.

One of my earliest vinyl LPs was the band’s self-titled debut from 1976 — the one that’s got a picture of Tom smirking and wearing a bullet belt over his shoulder. That album, along with a story I read in the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock N Roll about how the band withheld the masters of the Hard Promises LP in a game of high-stakes brinksmanship with MCA over sticker price, was the proof that I used when my friends who liked Green Day and the Offspring called me a “poser” for liking Tom Petty so much. Bullets and a smirk are pretty punk, and so are the rockabilly grooves and odes to teenaged abandon on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. “Into the Great Wide Open” may have introduced me to Tom Petty, but it was this album that made the long-term impact on my taste.

So, here’s a cover of “Rockin’ Around with You,” the first song from that album. I recorded it a couple of weeks ago with the indescribably fabulous Sarah Cisco, my love and a damned fine musician who will hopefully continue to share her talents with the world. Sarah sang with me, and I did the drum machines, guitars, bass, and synth parts. It’s a pretty straightforward, shuffling jam that doesn’t stray too far from the original.

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Music

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Also, here are some solo songs I've uploaded recently to Soundcloud. I'm playing solo July 19th at the Pickle Factory at 647 Lamar Street in Los Angeles and September 1st at Los Globos in LA for a KCHUNG benefit.

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