Grand Canyon has just released their newest body of work, an EP titled Yesterday’s News. The five-track collection covers enormous ground with explosive back road Americana, dreamy psychedelic storytelling, hard-hitting social commentary, and the sour wounds of heartache. The band’s spirited, defiant, D-I-Y attitude is captured in the music video for their single “Yesterday’s News”, as lead singer and guitarist Casey Shea struts solo through the bustling streets of London.
Filmed on an iPhone by guitarist-turned-cinematographer Joe Guese, the video is a prime example of an impromptu good time caught on tape: the members had a day off in London between shows and asked themselves if there was any way they could quickly engineer a much-needed video for “Yesterday’s News”. Creative energies aligned, and the grainy video, bubbling over with Shea’s individuality, was finished in the snap of a finger. Said Shea to Billboard, “There’s just a good vibe about the video. It has attitude. I love seeing the double decker buses everywhere. It seems like it was just meant to be.”
We can’t help but agree.
P.S.: Fate strikes the video at 1:17, when a truck drives by bearing the slogan, “Carrying you through the 21st century!”, a serendipitous nod to track four on the EP, “21st Century American Man”.
In an era of computer-made, beat-driven music, Grand Canyon is the antithesis of modern pop music. However, by focusing on musicianship and timeless songwriting, and drawing on the inspiration of the classic sounds and arrangements of the 70s, it is the kind of pop music that will be wafting through the canyons for a long time. Here, guitarist Joe Guese shines looks back on a rock legend that inspired his career, as well as countless others.
My journey with Tom Petty began like many others did, with a road trip.
It was the summer of ’92. I was 10, and my family was taking our annual road trip. California was that year’s destination. I had just recently purchased, or more likely my parents purchased, Into the Great Wide Open. We set off on our journey for the west coast. Little did I know then, it would be a road trip for the rest of my life. I put Into the Great Wide Open on my discman, letting it be my soundtrack through the endless canyons and expansive horizons of the west. The music always seemed to have a vision of hopefulness, positivity, and pure rock ‘n’ roll. I picked up the guitar two years later and never looked back.
He provided the soundtrack for my youth. I’ll never forget my first Petty concert at Red Rocks, the soundtrack to high school parties, hearing “Room at the Top” the day Columbine happened, and his music present at many other seminal events in my life. Tom Petty led to some of the best and longest lasting friendships I’ve ever had. Fast forward to the winter of 2002, I had just finished up a rehearsal with my college band who was trying out a new bass player. That bass player was Ethan Mentzer. We decided to make the long walk back from the rehearsal space to the Berklee dorms. On that fateful walk, we discussed our love of Petty, girls, anything rock ‘n’ roll, and more Petty. We would go on to become lifelong friends and start a band that would tour the world. He taught us everything: cool guitars, cool amps, great songs, how to record, and most importantly the attitude and feeling of rock ‘n’ roll music. He was the embodiment of “cool”.
Petty has led me down some pretty strange and wonderful roads. I had the pleasure of playing “Running Down a Dream” with three members of the Heartbreakers and two great friends Jamie Arentzen and Matt Pynn (the Elmbreakers) a couple years ago at a Grammy party. That road also led me to Casey Shea who would also become a lifelong friend. Our mutual admiration of Tom Petty pushed us to start Grand Canyon in our mid 30s. Talk about running down a dream!
So cheers to that summer of ’92 in the back of a suburban, where I’m at now in Los Angeles, wherever that road may lead, to all the bad girls, and those boys who play that rock n roll.