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Benmont Tench - of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - says goodbye to John with the most Off-Rampy song ever

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench III lumbers into the back of John's car to record his song "Like the Sun (Michoacan)
John Rabe/KPCC
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench III lumbers into the back of John's car to record his song "Like the Sun (Michoacan)

Benmont Tench III based his song "Like the Sun" on a tour of Los Angeles given to him by a friend, which opened his eyes to the city's true beauty.

Off-Ramp fan, KPCC member (!), and Tom Petty and Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench III joined John in his old Mercedes with his large, but portable Casio.

Tench has lived in the hills of Tarzana for decades, in a perfectly good house, but in the 100-degree heat, John outfitted his car with condenser mikes to record a farewell ode to Off-Ramp, Tench's "Like the Sun."

The full band version of Benmont Tench III's "Like the Sun"

"Like the Sun" helped Tench get back in the songwriting groove a decade ago after he burnt out on being professional songwriter in Nashville. He based the lyrics on tours of Los Angeles given to him by a friend, and takes the listener (with his Southern accent) from a restaurant called Michoacan to a hill top tent city. Tench also told John how he and his wife Alice explore Los Angeles.

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