Fans Worldwide Face Heartbreak: A Tribute to Tom Petty


Madison Foulkes| Lifestyle Writer|

Many were devastated by the death of legend, Tom Petty. The singer passed in early October at age 66 from cardiac arrest. He was well-known for his hits including “Free Fallin’,” “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” and “I Won’t Back Down.”

In response to Petty’s death, freshman Maddi Butina said, “I’ve cried myself to sleep every night since his heart attack knowing the world will forevermore be without his talent and presence.”

Petty’s love for music began when he was in high school. By the time he was 17, he had dropped out of school to perform with his band, Mudcrutch. In 1974, he moved from Gainesville, Florida to Los Angeles in the hopes of reaching a larger crowd. After the release of their first single, the band split up because their record didn’t make it big, however, Shelter Records offered Petty a solo contract due to their interest in his talent and were not disappointed.

According to The New York Times, Petty formed the Heartbreakers in the mid-1970s. Their first album “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” debuted in 1976 with favorites including “American Girl” and “Breakdown.” Petty’s influence rested heavily on the folk music that was popular during the time he was growing up as well as other famous artists from that time including Bob Dylan and the Beatles.

In 2016, Petty told Rolling Stone that this was most likely going to be their last tour because they are all “on the back side of their sixties” and didn’t want to “spend life on the road.” The tour was in honor of the 40th anniversary of their debut album and was the longest stretch in between tours in 25 years.

Personally, listening to Petty reminds me of driving fast down a rural road in the middle of summer with the windows down and my hair flying. Full Moon Fever was my favorite of his albums and always reminds me of the good times of this past summer whenever I listen to it. I have always loved older music so a part of me feels like my connection to that era has been lost since Petty’s death. I imagine others are experiencing the same nostalgia of moments passed and like me have also been listening to his albums on repeat since hearing the news of his death.