The Last DJ (song)
|"The Last DJ"|
|Single by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers|
|from the album The Last DJ|
|Released||September 23, 2002|
|Producer(s)||George Drakoulias, Tom Petty, Mike Campbell|
|Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers singles chronology|
|Tom Petty singles chronology|
"The Last DJ" is the title of a song written by Tom Petty and recorded by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It was released in September 2002 as the lead single from their album of the same name. The song had moderate success, reaching number 22 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks list in 2002.
Background and writing
Petty told Mojo magazine that, in the song, "Radio was just a metaphor. ‘The Last DJ’ was really about losing our moral compass, our moral center."
The line "How much you'll pay for what you used to get for free" was used shortly before the previously free Fan Club site was changed to require a $50 fee. Petty told Jim DeRogatis that the song is a story "about a D.J. in Jacksonville, Florida, who became so frustrated with his inability to play what he wants that he moves to Mexico and gets his freedom back. The song is sung by a narrator who's a fan of this D.J." 
The song was banned by many stations owned by Clear Channel Communications for being "anti-radio." "I was elated when my song was banned," Petty told Billboard. "I remember when the radio meant something. We enjoyed the people who were on it, even if we hated them. They had personalities. They were people of taste, who we trusted. And I see that vanishing."
In popular culture
In the Simpsons episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation", Homer receives songwriting lessons from Tom Petty. In the original airing, "The Last DJ" can be heard playing on a radio in the final scene. The song was changed for syndication.
|U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||22|