Tom Petty Dead at Age 66
Update, October 3rd, 7:38am EDT: TMZ reports that Petty has finally passed on. His family pulled life support at 8:40pm PDT last night while Tom was surrounded by family and friends.
Update, 8:12pm EDT: TMZ is now reporting that Petty is still alive, although on life support. Stay tuned!
Legendary rocker Tom Petty was found unconscious and in cardiac arrest last night (Sunday) at his home in Malibu, CA. EMTs transported him to a hospital where he was immediately put on life support, but after it was determined he had no brain activity the decision was made to pull the plug. TMZ first reported the story, with CBS confirming the death.
He was only 66 years old. He’d just wrapped up a big tour which ended in Hollywood, CA last Monday, September 25th.
If you find yourself questioning why this news is appearing on a metal site… 1) fuck you fuck you fuck you, 2) allow me to explain:
Petty’s music was incredibly influential on this young metalhead’s musical tastes, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one. “Free Fallin’,” in all its three-chord glory — but what an amazing three chords! — was one of the first songs I ever learned to play on guitar; I sang it endlessly at summer camp along with several other Petty hits (“Yer So Bad” was always my favorite). “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” was in constant rotation on MTV in my early days of obsession with the channel. In a perfectly adolescent act of synchronicity, my seventh grade crush and I both got each other CD copies of Wildflowers as holiday gifts one year.
Those are just a few of my fond memories of Tom Petty’s work. Great music transcends genres, and Petty’s — over the course of his 40+ year career — certainly did that. Feel free to share your own thoughts and recollections in the comments below.