Where to begin. One of the greatest American rock n’ roll songwriters ever, and today we lost him (on top of another music related tragedy, as a gunman killed 58 people at a Country Music festival in La Vegas). Tom Petty‘s songs were universal. They were part of our culture. Songs for road trips and parties, sporting events or intimate evenings. You could be singing along to them without even realizing it. I don’t know a single person who didn’t like Petty’s music, and probably wouldn’t get along with that person if I met them.
I first saw Petty perform at the Hollywood Bowl, and even though our seats were way up high in the bleachers, his music filled the venue. And for every memorable song he played, there was one you missed. He just had so many songs, there was no way he could ever play all the ones you wanted to hear. I later got to see him play again during a more intimate show at the Henry Fonda Theater. Again, he and the Heartbreakers, one of the most tight-knit groups in the business, brought the place down, mixing their hit singles with deeper cuts for the hardcore fans in attendance. He knew how to please a crowd, and never let them down.
The two songs below are some of my favorites, and feel most appropriate right now. We’ll miss you Tom. Thanks for all that you left us with.