Hat­maker doffs his lid to Tom Petty

Upper Hutt Leader - - CONVERSATIONS - MATTHEWTSO

A Pe­tone hat man­u­fac­turer has paid trib­ute to the late Tom Petty by auc­tion­ing a spe­cial hat, with the pro­ceeds be­ing do­nated to a mu­si­cal char­ity.

When Hills Hats gen­eral man­ager and Tom Petty fan Si­mon Smuts-Kennedy learned of the rock leg­end’s death last week, he de­cided to make the best of a sad sit­u­a­tion.

Af­ter mak­ing him­self a ‘‘trib­ute’’ ma­roon top­per from fur felt, Smuts-Kennedy de­cided to list an iden­ti­cal hat on Trade Me, which would be made to mea­sure for the win­ning bid­der’s bonce.

The hat is sim­i­lar to the one worn by Petty in his 1985 video for Don’t Come Around Here No More.

‘‘It’s the one I al­ways think of when I think of him,’’ Smut­sKennedy said.

‘‘So many peo­ple of my gen­er­a­tion, and oth­ers, grew up lis­ten­ing to Tom Petty. He’s just so cool.’’

The auc­tion closed with a win­ning bid of $477.50 on Oc­to­ber 7 and had had more than 3000 views since be­ing listed last Wed­nes­day.

All pro­ceeds from the auc­tion are go­ing to the Good­time Mu­sic Academy’s mu­sic bus pro­gramme, which vis­its schools around the Welling­ton re­gion to teach chil­dren how to play in­stru­ments.

Smuts-Kennedy said he had a lot of ad­mi­ra­tion for the own­ers and staff at Good­time Mu­sic Academy, whose pas­sion and en­thu­si­asm was passed on to their many stu­dents.

Hills makes hats for var­i­ous mil­i­tary and brass bands, and also has a fol­low­ing from nu­mer­ous mem­bers of the New Zealand mu­sic scene, in­clud­ing Fat Freddy’s Drop, Ladi6, Tiki Taane, The Nudge and Shapeshifter.

Fat Freddy’s Drop ad­ver­tised Smuts-Kennedy’s auc­tion on their Face­book page.

MATTHEW TSO/STUFF

Hills Hats gen­eral man­ager Si­mon Smuts-Kennedy with the hat pay­ing trib­ute to Tom Petty, top left.

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