This one hurts.
One of the most unlikely MTV-era stars and one of its greatest!
A favorite of mine as well. What a punch in the gut. Great, great musician.
I was a big fan early on - had the first three albums and saw the band in concert in the summer of 1980. One of the better shows I had seen in that era. Re-discovered him a few years back with the Mudcrutch project which I really enjoyed. Sad to see him pass at only 66.
Saw him in concert twice. This is truly a gut punch.
One of my favorites. Came from the redneck end of Florida, always looked it and sounded it, but made good without changing a lick out of sheer talent. Roughly same age as my brother, and seemed like he really could be one of our Arkansas relatives. When some of his songs had a sameness to them -- nobody's perfect -- it was a familiar sameness, a comforting one. That nasal whine is how a lot of my relatives talk.
The Traveling Wilburys are down to two now. Petty was the youngest of them.
Tough, tough blow.
I've always liked his music, even though it's not the genre I spend most of my listening time on. I think he was marketed as New Wave for a minute early in his career. But he always tapped into classic rock stylistically, which made a lot of it sound timeless. I expect it will have a good long life for as long as there is rock radio, or whatever succeeds it.
Damn the Torpedoes was one of the first albums I ever owned, given to me for Christmas by my older cousins. I can't tell you how many times I listened to it. It's known for its hits -- "Refugee," "Don't Do Me Like That," but the album tracks are just as good. "Here Comes My Girl," sounds like it could be a sweet love song -- and it is, in part -- but it's also about someone grappling with hopelessness, only buoyed by the presence of his sweetheart.
Needless to say, I played it several times yesterday. Needed it.
This is happening way too often these days. Walter Becker a couple weeks ago and now this.
IMO, Petty was one of the great rock songwriters of all time. I remember the songs from Damn the Torpedoes being played 24/7 on the radio when it came out. That record has a HUGE sound. Still sounds great today too.
I remember when Tom Petty took a stand against his record label for price-gouging when it wanted to charge a dollar more for his latest album than what it charged for his previous album:
Now there's an artist who really appreciated his fans.
Like Warren Zevon, he was a great songwriter who was kind of in a class of his own.
That story was mentioned in the NY Times's obituary of Petty, too, CK. It made me so happy to hear it. What a guy.