It now has been officially confirmed that Tom Petty has died of a heart attack one week after finishing a 40th anniversary tour. What a strange thing it was that a reputable news outlet had gone ahead and reported his death today when he was actually still alive! And once one reported it, so did several others! I can’t imagine how the family must have felt when their loved one was in critical condition in hospital and the media had already written him off. In fact, his daughter lashed out at Rolling Stone on social media (even though that magazine was not the first to break the “news”).
I just saw that TMZ has posted a recording of Petty’s wife’s 911 call on the web. I mean really… can’t the family be allowed a bit of peace and dignity?
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was one of those bands that merged rock with a country feel, marrying the genre popular with my teenaged group of friends with the music that pulled at my heart. To me, 1979’s Damn the Torpedos was a brilliant album, and it is one that I still listen to today. My favourite song on that album is “What Are You Doing in My Life?”, about a female fan (it seems) who just won’t leave him alone. Not finding that song on the web, here is “Refugee” from the same album.
My husband and I have continued to listen to Tom Petty over the years and went to see him live in 1991 when he was touring Into the Great Wide Open. It was a really wonderful show. And it introduced me to another really great musician who sadly also died too young. Here is Chris Whitley with “Living with the Law”.
One of my favourite Tom Petty videos is “Don’t Come around Here No More”, with a cool Alice in Wonderland feel to it. Tom Petty will be missed, but his music will continue to be loved greatly.