Musician Tom Petty was famous for his many hits, including “Free Fallin’,” “Refugee,” and “American Girl.” Locally, Petty visited the Gorge Amphitheater several time to entertain concertgoers in Grant County, treating guests to his songwriting and musical talents. Several of us were fortunate to see this great act live and in person. He was truly a legend.
Petty died this week after a cardiac arrest at age 66. His many fans and fellow entertainers mourned the loss on social media.
“I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted to know what it felt like to fly,” wrote singer-songwriter John Mayer on Twitter.
“Through his work with the Heartbreakers and The Traveling Wilburys he’s left us with an incredible legacy to enjoy forever, it’s such a shame he has left us way before his time,” tweeted Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot.
“It is rare to find someone who commands such universal respect in the business. He was a rock n roll lifer with music in his blood. This man delivered a wealth of great songs to his fans and to the world and that is something to celebrate,” stated rocker Alice Cooper on Twitter.
He was a no-glitz, no-drama kind of guy. Petty just worked, plain and simple. He made music, toured, and released several chart-topping albums.
His work made it into films, including “Cars 3,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Mad Love” and “Sing.”
His accolades are many, including a Billboard Music Award, three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards and one Radio Music Award (Legend Award). Petty received 30 nominations for various honors throughout his career.
Petty was a simple but eloquent songwriter who shared common life experiences with his fans. Many of us could relate to Petty and the everyday struggles he chronicled in his music.
Petty’s talent, tenacity, and staying power made his music legendary for the past 41 years. His legacy will live on through this music for much longer.
Rest in peace, Tom Petty. Your work has meant so much to so many.
— Editorial Board