“Music, as far as I have seen in the world so far, is the only real magic that I know. There is something really honest and clean and pure and it touches you in your heart.” – Tom Petty
Veteran U.S. rocker Tom Petty, whose vibrant guitar riffs, distinctly raw, nasal vocals and slick song lyrics graced such hits as “Refugee,” “Free Fallin’” and “American Girl,” has died following a heart attack. He was 66.
Best known for his roots-infused rock music, Petty carved a career as a solo artist as well as with his band The Heartbreakers and as part of supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.
Petty and The Heartbreakers embarked on a 40th anniversary tour of the United States this year and last played three dates in late September at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Petty formed The Heartbreakers in the mid 1970s, but it wasn’t until the band’s third album “Damn the Torpedoes” in 1979 that their music really took off, with hits such as “Refugee” and “Don’t Do Me Like That.”
He and the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, when they were described by organizers as “the quintessential American individualists”, capturing the voice of the American everyman.
Tom Petty will forever be a Max’s Icon, having rocked the stage with his band The Heartbreakers in March of 1977.
Rest in peace Tom.
Photo by Joel Bernstein