The legend that was Tom Petty frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers passed away this week so we thought we would take a look at some of the best bits of his long career.
Born and raised in northern Florida, Tom Petty began playing music while he was still in high school. At the age of 17, he dropped out of school to join the band Mudcrutch, which also featured guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench. He spent the next few years drifting between bands but in 1976 Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers launched initially not finding success in the US.
The band supported another in the UK and found early success there before charting in America with You’re Gonna Get It. Although Tom had record label problems a few times throughout his career his singing, songwriting and producing led to various collaborations with artists including Del Shannon (Drop Down and get Me) and Stevie Nicks (Stop Dragging my Heart Around).
Petty & The Heartbreakers came back in 1982 with the album Long After Dark which was their third top ten album. in 1988 Tom became a member of the Travelling Wilburys (Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne) who released their first album later that year.
With a career that spanned several decades Tom Petty left us with fabulous tunes like Free Fallin, I Won’t Back Down and Full Moon Fever. Further collaborations included Bob Dylan (Got My Mind Made Up), Travelling Wilburys (Last Night), Jeff Lynne (Blown Away), Roger McGuinn (King of the Hill) and Johnny Cash (The Running Kind).
This week so many stars have paid tribute to the legend including Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift. His music influenced more than one generation and here at Spectrum, we would like to say Tom you will be missed.
Tom’s last interview with Rolling Stone Magazine is here. Taking a moment to consider this legend’s career, what are your favourite Tom Petty tunes?