Tom Petty's Interview With the Los Angeles Times Was His Last

Tom Petty's Interview With the Los Angeles Times Was His Last

A prime element of his success was the appreciation he showed toward the roots of rock "n" roll. He was surrounded by his friends and family. According to the manager of his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, he was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles after suffering cardiac arrest at home, in Malibu. Knowing he's gone is enough to buckle your knees.

I went to bed with a heavy heart, both events weighing heavily in my thoughts.

Even though Tom was in the twilight of his career, he still represented music that is truly American. Petty was rock's quintessential underdog, with the characters in his songs always fighting for some version of survival. "With a little kid, that's a lot of time". The only explanation I had was I was listening to Petty's "I Won't Back Down".

In the late 1980s, Petty recorded two albums as part of the Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup consisting of himself, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and Roy Orbison, under the monikers Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Muddy Wilbury.

"The Great American Songbook" lost a writer whose lyrics screamed pure Americana and made everyday life seem like the most fascinating topic on the planet.

"I'm not extremely political". I looked my son in the eyes and shook my head and said, "You're not from the 8o's, are you?"

We'll worry about Thursday when it gets here I guess.

"I have a granddaughter now I'd like to see as much as I can". That's not how it's supposed to work.

But, as Petty told USA TODAY in a prescient moment of self-reflection, his music would endure after his death. And I said, "I'm sure you know this, but if we've got the audience on our wavelength, it doesn't matter how long it is". Writing is what I do and helps me make sense of the world and my experience.

Just take the start of "Runnin" Down a Dream" - "It was a lovely day, the sun beat down/ I had the radio on, I was driving/ Trees flew by, me and Del were singing "Little Runaway'/ I was flying" - which does more to establish character and mood than the opening chapters of most books.

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