In the early hours of the morning of October 2nd, Tom Petty suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center. After many hours of confusion, Petty’s longtime manager announced that he died peacefully at 8:40 PST surrounded by family, friends, and bandmates. This being only one week after Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, finished their summer tour. Let’s review the life of this rock icon.
It was a long road from being the famed frontman of the Heartbreakers to his humble beginnings in Gainesville Flordia. He became hooked on music when he met Elvis Presley at a movie shoot. Petty soon picked up a guitar and started bouncing around local bands in high school till he landed in the Mudcrutchs, who traveled to Los Angeles in hopes of finding a record deal. This band morphed into the band we know today, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which officially formed in 1975.
In the years after, the band recorded their biggest hits, from “Free Fallin'” to “Breakdown,” but the band truly found their claim to fame in their third studio album “Damn the Torpedoes,” with hits such as “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “Refugee.” Petty also loved collaborating with fellow musicians, such as Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, and George Harrison. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Tom Petty will be missed, but his effect on the rock and music industry will live on forever.
“Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.”- Tom Petty