We say goodbye to yet another rock and roll legend this year...
Tom Petty has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2002, Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Tom's love of music began when he was ten years old and he met Elvis Presley. In 1961, his uncle worked on the set of Elvis's film Follow That Dream in nearby Ocala, and invited Tom to come down and watch them film. Instantaneously he became an Elvis Presley fan. When he returned home, he met his friend Keith Harben, and traded his beloved Wham-O slingshot for a collection of Elvis 45s.
In 1976 Petty started the band the Epics that later went on to be known as Mudcrunch, which included future Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench. Never gaining much traction the band separated. A year later Tom, Mike and Benmont reunited along with members Ron Blair and Stan Lynch and released their first single "Breakdown", thus launching the Heartbreakers.
Petty went on to play with other bands such as the Traveling Wilburys over the years and gained in success and notability. He began to work on his first solo album, Full Moon Fever, which included several of the Heartbreakers. In 1989, the album was released and a huge success, reaching No. 3 on the charts and going multiple-platinum. The lead single, “Free Fallin’” reached No. 7 on the singles charts and to this day remains one of Tom Petty’s best-known songs.
After releasing their LP, Hypnotic Eye, it became Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first Number 1 album. They went on the road in 2017 for a summer tour to celebrate their 40th anniversary. "I'm thinking it may be the last trip around the country," says Petty. "It's very likely we'll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don't think so. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was thinking this might be the last big one. We're all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now I'd like to see as much as I can. I don't want to spend my life on the road."
“Thanks for 40 years,” Tom shouted as he closed his set at the KAABOO festival on Sunday, Sept. 17th. No Tom... thank you.