TUNE TALK: Goodbye Tom Petty


Spotify cover art

Tom Petty wrote some of the most iconic songs in American history.

Cazen Cowfer, Staff Writer

Thomas Earl Petty was a true rock legend.

Petty sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He recorded a number of hit singles with his band the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist.

Petty was found unconscious at his home, not breathing, and in full cardiac arrest, early in the morning on October 2, 2017. He was taken to UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, where he died at 8:40 that evening.

Before he made it big, Petty started a band known as the Epics, later to evolve into Mudcrutch. The bands recordings were unnoticed by a mainstream audience. Their only single, “Depot Street”, was released in 1975 by Shelter Records, but failed to chart.

After Mudcrutch split up, Petty perused a solo career. Eventually, he collaborated with Tench and other fellow members Ron Blair and Stan Lynch, resulting in the first lineup of the Heartbreakers, which stayed together until Heartbreakers would last until 1999.

Tom Petty/YouTube

Throughout time, Petty released many albums with fellow musicians and the Heartbreakers. In 2017, the Heartbreakers embarked on a 40th Anniversary Tour on the United States. The tour began on April 20th, and ended on September 25th with a performance at the Hollywood Bowl. The Hollywood Bowl concert, which would ultimately be the Heartbreakers’ final show, ending with “American Girl.”

In the late 80s he collaborated with such music icons as George harrison, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan to form the Traveling Wilburys.

Petty, either with his bands or as a solo artist, is responsible for some of the most memorable songs in America in the 80s and 90s. With the Heartbreakers he put out songs like “Refugee,” “Breakdown,” “The Waiting,” “American Girl,” and “Don’t Come Around Here no More.” As a solo artist he wrote gems like “Free Fallin’,” “I won’t Back Down,” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”

Petty will be greatly missed. If you have never listened to Petty, please do. It will be worth every second. He made wonderful music that will continue to live on.

R.I.P Thomas Petty