On a day we all awoke to the shock and sadness of what was unfolding in Vegas, trying to wrap our brains and hearts around an unthinkable sense of loss, another kick in the gut followed: we had lost Tom Petty.
Warner Bros. Records CEO Cameron Strang issued the following statement:
“Tom’s sudden passing is a stunning loss to everyone at Warner Bros. Records. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tom, his family, the Heartbreakers, and his millions of fans across the globe who loved him and his music.
An artist and songwriter of incredible power and unmistakable character, his music will forever be part of America’s cultural heritage.
Thank you, Tom, for being a man of deep soul, grace and humility.
Peace and love,
Tom’s portrait now graces the offices of Warner’s LA base, an outdoor mural for all to see, stopping and reflecting as they go about their days.
“It’s shocking, crushing news,” Bob Dylan said in a statement. “I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.” Longtime collaborator and friend Jeff Lynne said, “Tom Petty was the coolest guy I ever knew.”
Producer Rick Rubin told Rolling Stone he wasn’t a Tom Petty fan growing up. “I usually liked more edgy music.” But with Full Moon Fever, released in 1989, he was hooked. “The consistency and quality of songwriting on the whole album sucked me in. I listened to it all day every day in my car for a year.”
Full Moon Fever included “Running Down a Dream”, one in countless titles that just make you go… “Aw man… love that one”… and immediately start singing the words. I mean…really…. really think about it. The volume of songs Tom Petty gifted us is staggering, giving a run for Clive Davis’s “Soundtrack of Our Lives “title”: Running Down A Dream, American Girl, Free Fallin’, I Won’t Back Down, Learning to Fly, A Face in the Crowd, You Wreck Me, Don’t Do Me Like That, The Waiting, Don’t Come Around Here No More, Here Comes My Girl, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Even the Losers, Refugee, Breakdown… and so on and so on and so on.
Petty’s talent and catalog were matched only by the tangibly genuine, drama-free sincerity with which he clearly approached life. The outpouring of shock, sadness, and gratitude was evident across social media immediately, many retweeting a characteristically classy post Tom had shared just days prior: Thanks to everyone for supporting us for the last 40 years! Without YOU, there’d be no US! #TPHB40”
Just a sampling of tweets in tribute:
Damn ….Tom Petty I remember standing backstage w him & he tells me ‘Go Get Em at a. Presentation #rockAnointed
Praying for all those affected by Vegas last night.
And now the loss of one of my great influences Tom Petty today.
I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted know what it felt like to fly.
“you belong somewhere you feel free.”
My goes out to all the people affected by the horrible shooting in Las Vegas, & to family,friends & fans of Tom Petty, of which I’m one.
Man this cannot be happening. Not Tom Petty please. Our deepest love and condolences to his family and band. A brother and true believer.
Today Just gets worse . The very talented musician , writer Tom Petty has just passed away . Another great has… http://fb.me/2lAsuYcD8
So sad to hear of the passing of Tom Petty. Such an incredible, inspiring artist. I’ll treasure fond memories of our time spent together this past summer
RIP Tom Petty. Thanks for all the great rockin’ music, hard to believe you’re gone.
What a horrid day for our country, music fans and music itself. RIP Tom Petty. His songs are always good medicine. Love to his family.
I can’t believe we have lost Tom Petty on this already horrible day. My love to his wife & children and the entire Heartbreaker family.
Just when I thought today could not get any worse…
R.I.P. Tom Petty. Thank you for your beautiful music and inspiration.
Sending love to Tom Petty and his family at this difficult time.
No! We have lost Tom Petty. From our opening act in the seventies to becoming a brilliant songwriter and performer I have loved his music.
Tom Petty’s music and songs are timeless. He was a wonderful writer, musician and singer. Irreplaceable and unique. #RIPTomPetty
Bless his powerful spirit. #TomPetty
So sad about Tom Petty, he made some great music. Thoughts are with his family.
blasting tom on the tour bus tonight.
God bless Tom Petty peace and love to his family I’m sure going to miss you Tom