The Music Moment That Changed a Life

Jake Thistle

A few weeks back Shelli learned that she would be part of a story telling event during the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival. She needed to prepare a story about the moment a specific song or movie had a clear influence on her life. At first it was difficult to pin something down so Jim opened up the topic to you. You responded with dozens of amazing memories of when music was a part of a distinct personal turning point. Shortly afterwards Shelli received an email with a moment that so clearly captured the power that music that we wanted to bring the writer in to discuss his experience in person.

This past Friday we had that listener, 8th grader Jake Thistle of Paramus, up to discuss the moment: the halftime show of Super Bowl XLII featuring Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

Jake happened to be just 3 years old in 2008 but when he heard the first notes of ‘American Girl’ the impact was instant. From that point he was driven to explore as much of Petty’s music as he could. This of course led him to down the rabbit hole of exploring and discovering the classic rock pantheon.

Thistle was gifted a guitar at age 9 and before he turned 10 he was already self-taught and playing in front of audiences.

Tom Petty took notice of Jake’s talent from his YouTube postings and he was invited to hang with the band at a date on his final tour!

Not only that- Jake has played with John Hiatt, met with Steve Winwood and last year he was invited and played a Springsteen festival in the U.K.

Best of all Jake has used his gifts to give back. So far he’s raised over $50,000 for charity through his playing. Check out a clip of Jake live on the Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show performing Bruce’s classic, “The River.”

Make sure to keep an eye on Jake- he’s out there playing in the New Jersey/New York area and beyond. His enthusiasm and talent make him a natural performer! It was great meeting him and his very supportive parents Jill and Greg.



Instagram: Jake_Thistle_Music



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