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Into The Great Wide Open: Tom Petty, 1950-2017

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Tom Petty from cardiac arrest.

Influenced by seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and a meeting with Elvis Presley when he was 10, Tom Petty’s first band was Mudcrutch, which contained several members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  Tom and the Heartbreakers went on to record Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, You’re Going to Get It, Damn the Torpedos, Hard Promises, Long After Dark, Southern Accents, Let Me Up, I’ve Had Enough, Into the Great Wide Open, Echo, The Last DJ, Mojo, and The Hypnotic Eye.   Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Apart from his success with The Heartbreakers, he played with The Traveling Wilburys on The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 and The Traveling WIlburys, Vol. 3 (Volume 2 was a series of recorded bootlegs).  Many of the Wilbury songs were played during his later live shows.  He also released three solo records – Full Moon Fever, Wildflowers, and Highway Companion.

I saw him several times over the course of his career; the last time was at Bunbury in Cincinnati, Ohio, in June of 2016.  He was touring with Mudcrutch at the time and although he appeared older than his age, his voice was still strong.  The set consisted of songs spanning his career and was a wonderful retrospect.  He was one of those musicians who provided the sound-track of my life.

Tom Petty was 66.

Runnin’Down a Dream – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1D3a5eDJIs

End of the Line – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwqhdRs4jyA

Mary Jane’s Last Dance – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aowSGxim_O8