A tribute to Tom Petty, the man who has always been there

Tom Petty, the American rocker with a radius of action of at least three generations and more than forty years, known of supergroup The Traveling Wilburys and his own The Heartbreakers, is no more. And so there will be one less ‘to keep this world from draggin’ down’.

Tom Petty © Belga Image

It seems like he has always been there, Tom Petty. Although easy with the seventies associates, is a man’s most glorious years yet, especially the eighties, the époque of lavishly-produced drums, wanstaltig expensive video clips, and cocaine.

On that video clips, after, passed, the mild-mannered Petty initially more than pretty in that pitfalls to avoid – he wasn’t exactly loving the intoxication of liquor, and an occasional party animal not to after talked, walked, the rocker is usually in a wide arch to each excess.

Just saved

When he was in the nineties, then through the knees went, it was a particularly heavy going: heroin. Not coincidentally, the gif where abused children at a later age, often to intervene. Because Petty was at a young age by his violent father with their fists, not edited. “I have four or five have been,” he recalled later, about the first time. It happened in a Chevy Model ’55’.

Petty struggled long and hard, but overcame eventually his only addiction. Already he saw himself not as a victory, and he refused initially to talk about. “I didn’t want people thinking: “Petty is on hit, so, so difficult will it be”. The most successful, not in. I did it on my own but in the nick of time saved”.

Afterwards continued to Tom Petty shine, after the nineties, but even in the past ten years. His soundtrack for She’s the One (1996) in all these years is actually his only faux pas. Also Petty self desavoueerde of the plate: ‘I had to have them should not make, but I had nothing else to do’.

Loyalty and sense of responsibility were constants in the life of Tom Petty.

His first band, Mudcrutch, which also the later Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell ‘s part of it, he would in the course of the years several times to re-convene for tours and releases that are former band members quite a nest egg generated.


Further moisture Tom Petty at high tickettarieven and he tried also the price of the plates to be democratic. When his label MCA Hard Promises (1981) wanted to sell for a full dollar more than the usual 8,98 dollar, refused Petty the plate to bring up the price again decreased. He was stubborn and held on, but was also at the protest to be a gentleman. He pointed out that not a single record label with the finger. “They were all in the same bed is sick,” he said. He also jumped several times on the barricades for the ‘Legalize It’movement.

When Run-DMC themselves bankrupt, had to explain to so under the yoke of their to demanding the record labels to come out, they had that little trick just copied from Tom Petty, who already in 1979 Bosman-judgment-for-musicians had been dropped. Only paid Petty a higher price than Run-DMC. He turned initially to his for the withdrawal of Damn The Torpedoes (1979) and immediately got a half a million dollars in debt. The album would later triple platinum conquer and Petty final launch as one of the best selling recording artists of all time.


Although Petty generally as an Americana icon is respect, were his records far richer and more creative than that. And harder, because The Heartbreakers were on the East Coast on a solid follower count in the hardcorescène, and bands like The Del Fuegoswere a big fan, with a preference for what they Petty’s ‘punkyer songs called: Refugee, Jammin’ me, or the high-spirited American Girl.

The oeuvre of Tom Petty contains too many pearls to list here. Are all certainly within our top ten: the yearning, by his fellowTraveling Wilbury Bob Dylan – influenced You don’t know how it feels, are J. J. Cale-cover Thirteen Days, the quiet Room at the Top and Won’t Back Down, to play when you have ground under your feet feels like sinking. And then there are the lavish but epic and downright irresistible, Don’t come around here no more, the wonderful, by that other fellowTravelling Wilbury Jeff Lynne produced, Learning to Fly, Neil Youngeske Mary Jane’s last Dance, and of course Free Falling. That last is about a girl that is crazy about Elvis, but mostly about Tom Petty himself. For just about his whole life, he is under the impression remained of a meeting with the tufted rockgod, at the age of ten.

And now Tom Petty passed away on his sixty and sixth. That is very young for a man who has always been there.

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