On Monday October 2nd, Tom Petty died unexpectedly at 8:40pm after being taken off life support following a cardiac arrest that morning. He was 66 years old.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had completed a 53-date 40th anniversary tour exactly one week before, playing 3 consecutive sold-out shows in LA. They ended their tour at the Hollywood Bowl on Monday September 25th. See his two last songs below:
In an interview with Rolling Stone before beginning the tour he said, “I’m thinking it may be the last trip around the country… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one. We’re all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road.”
It almost seems like deep down Petty had some kind of premonition. On September 27th, in what would be his last interview (a must-listen), Petty explained to the L.A. Times, “If one of us went down… or if one of us died — God forbid — or got sick… Then we’d stop. I think that would be the end of it, if someone couldn’t do it…” only to pass away days later, surrounded by family, friends and those bandmates.
It all feels so strange. The only thing that brings me any solace on the matter is listening to this interview and hearing him say happily, “This year has been a wonderful year for us. This has been that big slap on the back we never got. [laughing] And it’s really felt good… It was just a perfect endeavor. We just had so much fun, and everything went great, and the crowds were great, and the music was good, and the band played well every night.”
I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that he is actually gone, but I am so grateful that he had such a rocking last orbit around the sun. Godspeed Tom, and thank you.