How Janis Joplin Inspired Tom Petty’s ‘The Waiting’

Tom Perry believed that a quote by Janis Joplin helped inspire one of his most enduring songs, 1981′s classic “The Waiting.”

“I love being onstage,” Joplin once said. “And everything else is just waiting.”

“That’s where I think I got it from,” the singer said in Paul Zollo’s Conversations With Tom Petty. “[Roger] 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.”

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