RIP Tom Petty

The rock world has taken to social media to pay their respects to the late Tom Petty, who died suddenly on Monday night last (October 2nd) at UCLA Medical Center, one day after suffering cardiac arrest at his Malibu home.

Petty, who had just wrapped the 40th anniversary tour with the Heartbreakers, made no bones of the fact that whatever he’s gotten as a musician over the decades has been due to his connection and bond with his audience: “There were times when I really had to work and hustle. I never felt like a got a huge promo from the music business. I don’t think they ever held me up and made things easy for me. My audience is what’s made me survive, actually. It’s actually the people we play to and that buy the records that have made us a sort of, contradiction.”

Petty told us that he believed he was keeping up his end of the bargain to his fans each and every time he stepped onstage with the Heartbreakers: “I think there are a few that they expect to see — ‘Free Fallin’,’ and ‘Refugee,’ and ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance.’ I think this music was meant to be accessible to people. And when I was a young guy comin’ up and an album was three bucks, and I’d go out and collect Coke bottles, or whatever, if I really had to have this album, I could raise three bucks and get it. And (concert) tickets were really cheap in those days. I don’t want to play only to the elite. I’d like to play to everyon\e.”


AnnaKim Violette Petty (Tom’s daughter): “One week ago today I was watching my dad play we showed up rushed to our seats I got stoned had a beer the lights went dark sat watching realizing I grew up on these songs — everyone grew up on these songs. This is real American Art made from the roots of real people who deeply love life my father loves music more than anything and always put music first it’s going to be healing to know I will never go a day without hearing his music I love his class honesty and how strange and funny he is. Tom Petty is an American Icon because his heart has always put human rights first. We are one I love you dad your songs are dreams manifested.”

Bob Dylan: “It’s shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend – and I’ll never forget him.”

Roger McGuinn: “Before there were books, music recorded our history. Tom Petty was a historian. He didn’t just write songs. He wrote about the stories, people, and cultures of our times and then he put it all to music. When he wrote a song, he flew up to the great wide open, caught an idea and would come free falling back to earth. Then he did it again. I know, I had the privilege of writing with him once. His songs are movies for our imaginations and longer than 4 words. His every verse a diamond and every chorus gold. His music will always be with me and all of us.”

Bruce Springsteen: “Down here on E Street, we’re devastated and heartbroken over the death of Tom Petty. Our hearts go out to his family and bandmates. I’ve always felt a deep kinship with his music. A great songwriter and performer, whenever we saw each other it was like running into a long lost brother. Our world will be a sadder place without him.”

Paul McCartney: “Dear Tom, so sad to hear of his passing. What a lovely, intelligent and talented man he was. Love to his family.”

Ringo Starr: “God bless Tom Petty peace and love to his family I’m sure going to miss you Tom”

Julian Lennon: “More sad news today, hearing of Tom Petty’s passing… Have always been a fan. Sadly never got to see him LIVE…”

Sean Ono Lennon: “Tom Petty R.I.P. Some people are just born cool. Such a legend. I was lucky to cross paths a few times.”

Dhani Harrison: “Thank you dear Tommy for always being there for me. You got me through some of the hardest moments of my life. See you on the other side. I love you, bless.”

Mick Jagger: “So sad about Tom Petty, he made some great music. Thoughts are with his family.”

Brian Wilson: “I’m heartbroken to hear about Tom Petty passing. He was just too young and still in his prime. Tom was a hell of a songwriter and record-maker and he will be missed by everyone who loves music. I’m so sad to hear about this. Love & Mercy to Tom’s friends, family and fans.”

Mike Love: “I’m very saddened to hear of the passing of Tom Petty. A great artist loved by millions, we will miss you greatly Tom. Rest in Peace”

Al Jardine: “Tom Petty. . . stunned. One of the great rock ‘n’ roll legends. The whole package. Our prayers go to his family, friends and fans – love Al & Mary Ann Jardine”

Elton John: “Tom Petty’s music and songs are timeless. He was a wonderful writer, musician and singer. Irreplaceable and unique.”

John Fogerty: “Tom’s music means the world to me and my wife, Julie. He is her favorite artist. We are just devastated to hear of our friend’s passing.”

John Mellencamp: “Tom Petty was the Edward Hopper of American songwriters. He was a certain kind of bird that had no legs so he could never land on this earth; he lived his whole life in the sky. And now he will spread his wings and sleep on the wind. His name is written in the stars #TomPettyRIP”

Steve Van Zandt: “Man this cannot be happening. Not Tom Petty please. Our deepest love and condolences to his family and band. A brother and true believer.”

Joe Walsh: “SAD SAD. day. I just heard Tom passed. One of the great ones. Thank you for all the great music T- Rest in peace.”

Don Felder: “It is with a shattered heart that I write this post. Tommy’s passing feels like I’ve lost a little brother. Growing up together in Gainesville and seeing one of my students blossom as an incredibly gifted musician and songwriter has been one of my most fulfilling experiences in this life. It was obvious very early on in his career that his talent, magnetism and charisma were a very special gift that few souls in this world are given. He has given this world so many wonderful memories and touched millions with his magic. Gone far too soon. May he rest in peace knowing how much he is loved and appreciated by all of us that are left behind.”

Peter Frampton: “I can’t believe we have lost Tom Petty on this already horrible day. My love to his wife & children and the entire Heartbreaker family.”

Bryan Adams: “RIP Tom Petty. Thanks for all the great rockin’ music, hard to believe you’re gone.”

Carole King: “My heart goes out to all the people affected by the horrible shooting in Las Vegas, & to family, friends & fans of Tom Petty, of which I’m one.”

Peter Gabriel: “Very sad to say goodbye to Tom Petty, he was a kind and generous man, an excellent musician.”

Jon Bon Jovi: “I’m crushed. . . Praying for all those affected by Vegas last night. And now the loss of one of my great influences Tom Petty today.”

Sheryl Crow: “This is unbearable. Vegas and now a great music hero has passed. You brought us so much joy. We will miss you.”

John Densmore: “A superb songwriting craftsman has crossed over”

Sammy Hagar: “My thoughts and prayers go out for the victims & their families of #LasVegas today as well as for @tompetty’s friends & family.”

Meat Loaf: “Today Just gets worse. The very talented musician, writer Tom Petty has just passed away.”

Paul Stanley: “No! We have lost Tom Petty. From our opening act in the seventies to becoming a brilliant songwriter and performer I have loved his music.”

Rick Allen: “Rest In Peace Tom Petty”

Nikki Sixx: “Tom Petty. One of the greatest songwriters of our generation.T hank you for ALL the music. Prayers to your family & band members”

David Coverdale: “So sad to hear of Tom’s demise . . . such a wonderful talent & super guy”

Billy Idol: “Shocked & upset 2 hear about #tompetty ‘we got lucky when we found u.’ RIP”

Peter Wolf: The last time I saw Tom was the final night of the recent tour I played with him. We were joking about the time he sent me the song ‘Don’t Do Me Like That,’ He thought it would be a good song for the Geils band to do – unfortunately we never got around to recording it, so Tom put it on his album, and it became one of his many big hits. . . and he certainly was right about that song! More recently Tom was having hip trouble and in a lot of pain backstage during this summers’ tour. He was driven to the performance area in a golf cart and slowly climbed the steps to the stage every night. But what was amazing. . . once he put on his guitar it seemed like it was a magic wand, taking away every ailment and pain that he was having. . . and night after night he kept the musical bar high. That’s what I admired about Tom; he worked very hard at everything he did and always with a deep passion and a great sense of dignity. He certainly carved his own way and always stayed one of the good guys!”

John Mayer: “Tom Petty. One of the high priests of the Sonic Church of California. He wasn’t born there, but he planted so many songs there, it’s where his music takes place in my mind. Musically speaking, California is a repository for dreams. Every great song and artist associated with it adds a patch to that sun-faded tapestry. The songs spark these visions, some of them memories, and some of them just seen for the first time in the music and revisited throughout the years. Petty was a major architect of the spirit that makes musicians want to flock to California and write their songs and live the life that both authors them and is authored by them. Growing up a kid in suburban Connecticut in the late ‘80s, Tom Petty’s music was the only thing like it, both on the radio and on MTV. He made me believe in two things: that songwriting was everything, and that California must have felt like his music sounded. It did. And it always will. Musicians leave behind much more than records. They leave with us a shared dream space. A place we can continue to visit, even if after its creator is gone. Tom Petty’s California is my favorite California. It’s the one he painted both photo-real and abstract. It’s the one, like his music always portrayed, that straddles the dichotomy between proletariat and paradise; somewhere between the power lines and the palm trees, between Reseda and Malibu, between restlessness and ecstatic love. A legend reaches the other side. Rest In Peace.”

Kid Rock: “Just when I thought today could not get any worse. . . R.I.P. Tom Petty. Thank you for your beautiful music and inspiration.”

Cameron Crowe: “No words. Just thanks.”