Legendary rocker and front man to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers died Monday at the age of 66.
Reports say Petty was rushed to the hospital Sunday after he was found unconscious in cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu.
Sadly, Petty just finished his last big tour. Billed as the 40th Anniversary Tour, Petty told Rolling Stone in December it would be his last big hoorah.
“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. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”
Petty toured with his band for 25 years. Only one member ever left the band.
Excluding drummer Stan Lynch, who left the Heartbreakers in 1994 after years of tension with Petty, everyone on those early records remains in the band. “We grew up together and we love playing together more than than playing with anybody else,” says Campbell. “We’ve been through so much together. I don’t want to name names, but a lot of bands go out together and they just don’t like each other. They’re making a lot of money and just clocking in. We’ve never been like that, and we have a chemistry and a telepathy between us that is really rare.”
Petty left a final word to fans on his Twitter page just a few days ago. In his final tweet, he thanks his fans.
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) September 29, 2017
Unfortunately, his family won’t have the same luxury of closure. His grand-baby won’t get the attention Petty intended to give her now that the tour is finished.
According to USA Today:
Petty, who grew up in Gainesville, Fla., with an emotionally and physically abusive father, filed for bankruptcy in 1979 after legal disputes with his label and lost his house to arson in 1987. He split in 1996 from his first wife, Jane Benyo, after 22 years of marriage and succumbed to drugs and depression.
“In my childhood, I was in such a troubled household,” Petty says. “I see why I became a rock ‘n’ roll fanatic. Music was a safe place.”
Fans, stars and friends mourned him on Twitter. “No words. Just thanks,” tweeted Cameron Crowe.
I guess Tom Petty finally had his Last Dance with Mary Jane. Now he’s just Free Fallin’…