As we attempt to come to terms with the sad news of Tom Petty’s passing at the age of 66 we are able to look back at his legendary career and all the special moments he leaves for us.
Petty rose to fame in the 1970s with his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The group put out several hits, including “American Girl,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Breakdown,” “Listen to Her Heart” and more. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Petty played his last show last Monday, performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl to conclude the Heartbreakers 40th anniversary tour (53 shows in 24 states).
Petty was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. He said he wanted to become a musician when he was 13 and saw The Beatles play on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He told Grammy.com, “This was the great moment in my life, really, that changed everything. I had been a fan up to that point. But this was the thing that made me want to play music.” He added, “It did have a great profound effect on my life, and I thank them for that. I still think the Beatles [made] the best music ever, and I’m sure I’ll go to my grave thinking the same thing.”
Petty, who released three solo albums and 13 albums with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, also took part in the 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.
Here are five of our favourite Tom Petty songs.