Tom Petty’s Quest For The Perfect Cup of Coffee

On October 2, 2017, the world lost legendary singer-songwriter Tom Petty, writer of iconic songs like "American Girl" and "Mary Jane’s Last Dance".

This week, Petty’s biographer Warren Zanes shared a heartwarming story with Rolling Stone magazine about one of Petty’s lesser-known interests: coffee.

Apparently, Petty always had coffee ready when Zanes came over to talk and conduct interviews for his biography. When Zanes complimented the coffee, Petty talked for 20 minutes about the cuppa with, as Zanes puts it, "the level of engagement he reserved for subjects like Fender Telecasters or the Beatles."

The short version of the story: One day, Petty went driving with his wife Dana and stopped at a roadside diner. He had a "close to perfect" cup of coffee, and went to the manager to find out what it was.

That coffee must have been some exotic roast, right? Some special handpicked beans from a bearded barista? Nothing of the sort, in fact: It was just good old-fashioned Maxwell House.

Zanes goes on to explain how Petty did everything in his power to replicate this perfect cup. He bought two diner-style Bunn Automatic coffeemakers for his home ("he didn’t want to find himself waiting for a cup of coffee," Zanes says) and continued to perfect the brewing process.

"That coffee, I came to believe, was his Rosebud," writes Zanes. There are plenty of lovely details in the story, and it offers a glimpse at Petty’s creative process and views on life.

Anyway, you’re probably craving a cup of coffee right about now - we certainly are. So brew up a cup of Maxwell House (with a twist, if you want), put on a copy of ‘Damn The Torpedoes’ and pay tribute to a rock ’n roll legend.

Banner Image: Samir Hussein / Stringer


2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker (D-NJ) has announced a plan to grant clemency to thousands of people serving time for federal drug convictions. Last Thursday, Booker released his 'Restoring Justice' plan, which would offer clemency to more than 17,000 individuals who are currently doing time for nonviolent drug convictions. Booker pledged to implement the plan immediately upon taking office via an executive order as a means to address the huge disparities in drug policing.

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