Saw him in Sacramento in the Early 90s, great band, it was obvious he loved being onstage. There's a great Documentary about him on Netflix, he was one of the first to stand up to the Record Companies to keep the rights to his own music (the premise for the song "I won't back down"). I've covered quite a few of his tunes over the Years in my own cover band. His music will live on. RIP, Tom!
Tom Petty is still alive, and is reportedly on life support after having a heart attack.
I got to hang with Tom in Gainesville, FL a few times back in the 70's. I won't reveal everything we did back in those days, but he really liked riding my Yamaha crotch rocket. He admitted that it scared him some though....
You would have to literally live in a cave to have not heard of Tom Petty. Never heard "Free Fallin"? His music is everywhere, on the radio, movie soundtracks, TV. He had me with "Breakdown" in 1976 and I have enjoyed his music ever since.
Been a fan since I can remember. I'm 43 so Tom Petty has been popular and on the radio as long as I can remember and one of a few artists that has been totally relevant that entire time. Small company for sure.
About 10 Years ago I was at a really cool party in a little condo down by the beach in Carlsbad, CA. Place was jam packed. There was a band playing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover songs. Everybody kept clanking glasses, toasting, saluting this tall guy with thick curly hair. Before I know it tall guy gets on stage and plays a few. It was Ron Blair, bass player for the Heartbreakers. Stood inches from him.
Heat has it right; Petty was one of those guys that was an iconic artist his WHOLE career. He wasn't just milking a few hits or a couple of good records for decades after the fact. He continually put out excellent music.
It might've sounded like I've been bragging about meeting Tom, but that ain't all the facts. In fact, I blew that relationship.
Just thinking way back here... Tom's cousin was named Sonny, I think, or so was told by him. We met at Sonny's BBQ one hot Florida summer day on the North side of Gainesville, so I always kinda wondered about the validity of his name....lol.
Sonny called Tom and his wife, Tarzan & Jane. So I called Tom's wife Jane. She seemed comforted by that, so I figured that was actually her name. Who knows?
I just know this much.... Tom was pretty cool. He & I got along pretty well, but he seemed quite preoccupied. And that didn't really agree with me back then. I believed in being upfront & honest about things, and I sensed that wasn't returned back to me by that family.
So one day I was compelled to call Sonny, "Sun-Punk", because he seemed a bit dishonest, or maybe it was something else.... Spoiled a bit, maybe? But whatever it was, I didn't like it. And I guess I was a young jerk who was too outspoken back in that era....dang it anyway...lol. So I kept calling him, "Sun-Punk", and he despised it. Imagine that....lol
Looking back, I wish I had myself together more than I did then. Dang testosterone.... Not that I was a really bad guy, but in retrospect, I now wish I'd have been in the frame of mind to have been able to have maintained communication with that family.
Oh well, things are as they are at this point. But I'd be happy to fly down to Florida right now for Tom's funeral.
Just thinkin' back here..... Thanks for allowing me to pontificate on this publically. Just gettin' older, I reckon...lol
BTW, see those cars in the "Born a Rebel" video I posted? I got to drive 2 of them. And I never wrecked. But never won either.
Was too damned busy keepin' myself from wreckin' them 'round that fast track to win.... lol ... Since I had no ownership stake in the game, I couldn't get aggressive enough to win. And I knew it way back then.... (See there, I was basically a nice guy back then despite what (seemingly) everyone else said about me...lol)
But ya shoulda seen me on my 350 Yamaha on Saturday nights in the late 70's at Orlando Speed World (East Hwy 50 - Bithlo, FL) though. I won so often that I became despised by the big bore Kawasaki's right quick, till I grew outta it (prematurely, looking back...lol)