Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Tom Petty To Contribute To Super Bowl Halftime Epidemic

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

The announcement that Tom Petty will play the halftime show at this year’s biggest football game got me thinking about those of the recent past. It seems like only yesterday that men across America froze their Tivo to catch a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s nipple ring during the Super Bowl XXXVIII performance. This notorious halftime show also featured Kid Rock wearing the American flag as a shirt and P. Diddy and Nelly flanked by scantily clad dancers. The culmination of all of this on-screen smut sent conservative parents diving for the remote… And then the complaint letters. 540,000 of them to be exact.

The following year’s halftime showcased songs from Paul McCartney. There was no risk of flashing from that former Beatle – A very safe move on the Super Bowl’s part. They continued those safe moves with shows from The Rolling Stones, Prince, and now Tom Petty. It looks like a trend has begun to emerge – A trend of old men. Not one of those artists is under 45. And not one of them is female.

I understand that the NFL does not need another scandal on its hands, but young and/or female does not automatically equal FCC fines. Surely those chipper young High School Musical kids are incapable of anything indecent (Errr… minus the whole Vanessa Hudgens naked thing). And what about Ms. Mary J. Blige? A mature and confident woman unlikely to try any kind of stunt. They’re already showing her dancing with an iPod during every NFL commercial break, might as well throw her into the game time as well! Tom Petty will be a great performer, no doubt. But for how long will this safe halftime show trend continue?

Support for LAist comes from

photo by Natasha Hrubovcak via Flickr