Tom Petty’s “The Waiting” Is Inspired by Janis Joplin

What’s your favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song? Some may say “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” or “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” There are too many great ones to choose from, we know. Sometimes “The Waiting” is overlooked, although clearly a fan favorite when counting YouTube views. So what’s the story behind the song? Turns out Tom was likely inspired by something Janis Joplin said, which was “I love being on stage, and everything else is just waiting.”

“That’s where I think I got it from,” Petty said. “McGuinn swears that he said it to me. Maybe he did. I don’t think so. I think I got it from the Janis Joplin quote. That’s where it stuck in my mind. I don’t think she said, ‘The waiting is the hardest part,’ but it was something to that effect: ‘Everything else is just waiting.’ And so that’s where that came from.” Read the full story here from




Stay connected


Subscribe to The Bone's weekly eblast to get the latest on contests, events and exclusives from your favorite 107.7 personalities and artists.