Not long ago, Lawrence singer/songwriter Julia Peterson heard a concert by Tom Petty tribute band American Girls in Kansas City.
"I was just seething with jealousy," she says.
So Peterson decided to put together a Petty tribute night of her own.
The resulting concert will be at 9 p.m. tonight at The Bottleneck, 737 N.H. It features six local and area bands: Peterson and the Breaks, The Volunteers, Arthur Dodge and the Horsefeathers, Dead Girls Ruin Everything, Aphasia and The Only Children.
"There are four chords in every Tom Petty Song," Peterson says. "It's not rocket science, but it's brilliant. He's a brilliant lyricist and has simplistic melodies."
The 56-year-old artist was inducted with his band, the Heartbreakers, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Their debut album was issued in 1976.
His "Greatest Hits" stayed on Billboard's Top 200 album chart for more than six years. It includes such Petty standards as "An American Girl," "Refugee," "I Won't Back Down," "Free Fallin'" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance."
He also has recorded solo albums such as "Wildflowers" and "Highway Companion."
Tyler Anderson, frontman for The Volunteers, says there's a certain universality about Petty's music.
"Growing up, hearing Tom Petty, there hasn't been a point in my life when I haven't liked Tom Petty," Anderson says. "He's one of those guys who just lasts forever."
Adds Peterson: "You can't find anybody who doesn't know a Tom Petty song or doesn't like Tom Petty. It's timeless, ageless."
Peterson says tonight's show should include both straight remakes of Petty tunes and retooled songs that leave the bands' own distinctive sounds.
She says her favorite Petty album is "Full Moon Fever." Anderson says he's been listening to "Wildflowers" and the soundtrack from "She's the One" a lot lately.
"Back in the day," Anderson says, "I got the greatest hits, and everything on that is awesome. I just go back and forth. It's all awesome. It's Tom Petty, you know?"
The tribute show is the subject of this week's Pulse Podcast, posted online today at www.ljworld.com. You can hear Peterson and Anderson talk about their affection for Petty, and hear them each sing one tune from their Petty repertoire.
In addition, you can hear about some of the other events going on in Lawrence this weekend.