A conversation about “Conversations with Tom Petty”

Mind’s Eye podcast with Brian Turnof honors Tom Petty with chat with Zollo

As co-author with Tom Petty of Interviews with Tom Petty, I have had the privilege and pleasure of talking about our book and celebrating Tom’s greatness in bookstores, on radio and television shows, and in several podcasts. Any opportunity to talk about Tom is welcome, especially if it’s a conversation with a fellow knowledgeable about the man and his music.

Brian Turnof, host of The Mind’s Eye podcast, is a true Tom’s fan and a courteous and knowledgeable interviewer. He was familiar with the book and identified several of its most important aspects. True to the tradition of great radio hosts gifted at engaging with guests, he created a compelling conversation, deepened by his calm focus.

None of us hide our love for this subject. We are both recognized fans of the man and share a real-time love for his songs with his legion of followers across the globe. This love is reflected here and has been the engine that keeps this book alive.

This topic is outside of its usual realm on The Mind’s Eye, which examines deep mysteries, conspiracies, and other unanswered topics. Turnof explains that it exists at “the intersection of history and mystery, science and the strange, and crime and the sublime” and “often moves listeners to new and unexpected territories”.

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Turnof, according to his biography, “became familiar with the way history is written by winners through the educational shortcomings of his past experiences as a teacher… he saw with his own eyes how the government and the financial institutions have taken advantage of the poor and underprivileged… Brian created The Mind’s Eye to shed light on the hidden and often dirty crevices of history and the present to find kernels of truth and give voice to the voiceless.

Since 2009 he has also worked as a paranormal researcher and investigator who has led lectures and workshops on the East Coast, as well as co-host House of Mystery on NBC Radio.

Listen to The Mind’s Eye Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on Stitcher Radio.

“Two Gunslingers” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, the first Deep Cut chosen by Zollo

A Q&A with Brian Turnof

American songwriter: What made you decide to do this podcast?

BRIAN TURNING: Always been a radio guy. I remember playing on my night camp “radio station”. I majored in radio and worked in a few promotional stations, but left the industry for family reasons. My love for radio never stopped, so I started doing this podcast in 2014 as a way to hone my skills in the hopes of someday making it a profession.

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I can tell you are a fan of Petty. What is special about him in your life?

I think my love for Petty comes down to her sincerity as a musician. His music never seemed forced or not true to his essence as a musician, while being indefinitely relatable.

Besides Tom, who else is on your Mt. Rushmore musical? Are there other authors – or songs – that have really marked you?

Excellent question! It’s probably a mix of cliché and non-cliché responses. Probably Greg Graffin, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan.

Such a great question that I would love to hear your answer to the same question.

Besides interviewing writers about musicians – who else have you interviewed that meant a lot to you – and others in the future?

Two near-recent memorable interviews spoke with the relative of a victim who was likely murdered by the New Bedford Highway serial killer. It was a very raw conversation.

I also spoke to the DEA agents who helped bring down Pablo Escobar, which the first two seasons of the Netflix show Narcos are based on.

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Are you going to continue this podcast? Do you have other projects to share?

I will always continue The Mind’s Eye one way or another. I like to learn, converse and debate with knowledgeable people. I’ll probably only do a few more episodes this year on the occasion of some big birthdays to come (eg, probably a 9/11 conspiracy debate).

I recently decided to focus on other projects that have been in the pipeline for a long time.

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