ANOTHER MUSIC LEGEND PASSES AWAY AND FAR TOO EARLY …
Caught up in all of the news vacuum from tragedy from Las Vegas, music legend Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heatbreakers has passed away at the age of 66 on Monday evening. According to accounts, Petty suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, CA and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. Petty died peacefully at 8:40pm PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.
He will be so missed. Tom Petty’s music was simply amazing and so many of his songs were a part of the mosaic of my life. On a personal level this death truly does hurt, his music was phenomenal, meaningful and spoke to so many. I remember the events in my like by his songs and there were so many. I can’t even begin to think which one of his many songs were my favorite as the list is endless of American Girl, Don’t Do Me Like That, Here Comes My Girl, The Waiting, Learning to Fly, Free Falling, Dont Come Around Here No More, Refugee, You Got Lucky, I Won’t Back Down, Into the Great Wide Open, You Don’t Know How It Feels, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Running Down a Dream and so many more. My heart does break today, I say a prayer for his family, friends and his fans that loved him so much. Rest in Peace Tom Petty.
Good bye for now, your music will live on with all of us.
Tom Petty, whose Florida-bred quintet the Heartbreakers was one of the defining arena-rock acts of the 1970s with hits like “Breakdown,” died of a heart attack on Monday evening, the longtime manager of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers confirmed. He was 66.
“On behalf of the Tom Petty family we are devastated to announce the untimely death of of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty,” said Tony Dimitriades in a statement.” “He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40pm PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”
Police responded to his home at 10:50 p.m. Sunday night and he was transferred to UCLA-Santa Monica Medical Center, where he was on life support.
Here Comes My Girl
In 2002, Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Petty was awarded UCLA’s George and Ira Gershwin Award for lifetime achievement in 1996.
He was born Oct. 20, 1950, in Gainesville, Fla. A poor student, he caught the rock ‘n’ roll bug after he was introduced by his uncle to Elvis Presley, who was shooting the picture “Follow That Dream” on location in nearby Ocala. Like many other boyish rock aspirants, he began working on music in earnest after witnessing the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964.
Playing guitar and bass, he cut his teeth in cover bands like the Epics and the Sundowners. In his late teens, he became a top local attraction on the fertile Gainesville music scene (which produced members of the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Eagles and new wave act the Motels) as front man and songwriter for Mudcrutch, an outfit that also included guitarist Campbell and keyboard prodigy Benmont Tench.
Thomas Earl Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida, the son of an insurance salesman, on October 20th, 1950. His father beat him and he didn’t perform well in school, according to The New York Times, but he found solace in music. In 1961, he met Elvis Presley, who was shooting a film in Ocala, Florida, and it became a “life-altering moment” for the young Petty. Soon after, he got his first guitar as a preteen and joined his first band in the mid-Sixties. He quit high school at age 17 to join the southern-rock group Mudcrutch, which was taking off at the time. The group’s lineup featured guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench, two musicians Petty would collaborate with for much of the next five decades. But while the band was taking off, they broke up upon moving to Los Angeles in the early Seventies.
Petty started his solo career in earnest in 1975 when he cut a demo with Campbell and Tench that also featured bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch. They called themselves the Heartbreakers and, thanks to a label that signed Mudcrutch and retained only Petty on contract after they broke up, they recorded their debut, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which came out in 1976. It failed to make an impact at the time – the album’s lead single “Breakdown” didn’t even chart – but they picked up heat after touring England as support for future E Street Band member Nils Lofgren. They soon became headliners on the tour, with the album topping the U.K. chart.
You Don’t Know How It Feels
The label reissued “Breakdown” in the U.S. and it reached the bottom rung of the Top 40 a year after its release. Subsequent singles from the group’s second LP, You’re Gonna Get It!, such as “Listen to Her Heart” and “I Need to Know” charted in the upper half of the pop chart. Around this time, one of Petty’s most apparent influences, the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn, recorded a cover of the self-titled album’s closing track, “American Girl,” proving Petty’s ability to write hits. Around this time, the first of a number of bad business deals stung Petty, according to the Times: He’d signed away all of the publishing rights to his songs to his label for $10,000 and had to negotiate a new deal where he got half of the royalties on songs after his fourth LP came out.
But before the decade was up, Petty found himself bankrupt after the record label MCA attempted to buy out his contract from ABC Records, which distributed Petty’s original label. It took nine months of litigation for Petty to secure a new deal so he could release the biggest record of his career, 1979′s Damn the Torpedoes, which reached Number Two on the album chart and has since been certified triple-platinum. The album contained the singles “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “Refugee,” establishing him as a full-fledged hitmaker.
Into the Great Wide Open