Tom Petty, Dead at 66

Tom PettyTom Petty was 66. He was the singer-songwriter best known as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but also known as a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.

There was a lot of Tom Petty talk in my recent podcast with Barry Davis who sings in a Tom Petty tribute band. You can hear that episode here.

Barry turned me onto the Petty documentary Runnin' Down a Dream which I've since seen twice. It's excellent and streaming on Netflix right now. Petty was an immense talent.


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This one stings.

Unlike say when Bowie died, I don't feel any need to delve through Petty's catalogue ... I already know it really well and am liable to have one of his songs stuck in my head at any moment.

Thanks for all the music & videos.

October 2, 2017 @ 4:04 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Listen to the opening of The Strokes' Last Nite? Sound familiar?

Listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers hit Dani California. Sound familiar?

Petty was awesome, and so influential. I picked up Full Moon Fever in high school and fell in love. What an album!

October 2, 2017 @ 4:07 PM



October 2, 2017 @ 4:53 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

TMZ first reported this, but I waited for CBS to confirm before posting this entry. At this moment, the LAPD denies that Petty has passed. There's a DNR, but he's technically clinging to life.

October 2, 2017 @ 4:57 PM


Can't believe that this is true. Was sitting in front of a TV in a fast-food joint playing
CP24 on mute (as is usually the case) and all that was mentioned was that he had
suffered a heart attack. More of a fan of his work in the first 15 years than a lot
of the stuff that followed but that is so often the case for me with many artists.
At least he was writing and performing new music up until the end. My personal
favourite is the unheralded Jammin' Me from 1987's Let Me Up (I've Had Enough).

October 2, 2017 @ 6:13 PM


Nooo say it ain't so! I truly hope he pulls through. Won't Back Down has got me through some tough times.

October 2, 2017 @ 6:50 PM


Conflicting reports over whether or not Tom Petty is actually dead. Hope this
turns out to be Fake News, but rather unlikely at this point.

October 2, 2017 @ 7:01 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

My understanding is that he's dying... the family has a DNR order and Tom is brain dead... but his heart is still beating. I don't believe he's supposed to live through the day, sadly.

I believe this is the first time I've written about the death of someone who was still alive.

October 2, 2017 @ 7:06 PM


Then Y do write about it if it may not be true?

October 2, 2017 @ 7:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Because when I wrote about it, it had been confirmed by CBS, TMZ and the LAPD.

October 2, 2017 @ 7:15 PM


Something like this happened a little over two years ago with Ken Stabler (Oakland Raiders QB in the 1970s), when an initial report that he had died was retracted, only to be confirmed in a statement issued by his family the next day. Apparently in recent years there has been some kind of restriction against hospitals or other authorities releasing any information about someone's condition, unless the person or their family has said it was okay to do so.
But there is a also a very long list of people who have been erroneously reported as dead, some of whom are still alive.

October 2, 2017 @ 8:28 PM


Gordon Lightfoot "died 3-4 years ago" as per reports.
Played Massey Hall a few weeks ago, not in a casket.

October 2, 2017 @ 8:59 PM

Stephen in Niagara

Again, MSM's need to be first prevails over their need to be accurate.

October 2, 2017 @ 9:27 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The Lightfoot news was just plain wrong. He heard the news on his car radio while driving.

Petty's close to death, and it seems someone with the LAPD erroneously confirmed the death, which got CBS. Then, just about everyone went with the story, including yours truly. This is a strange one... they had to cancel a memorial that was planned for him tonight.

October 2, 2017 @ 9:59 PM

Javed Jafri

Sad and it's official now. The first cut I ever heard my Tom Petty was American Girl in 1976. The jangly Byrds influence sounded great on the radio at the time and he would collaborate with various members of the Byrds over the years including on Chris Hillman's latest album released last week,

Very underrated. Was an MTV era pioneer as well:

October 3, 2017 @ 7:23 AM


Nothing makes me cringe more than when some famous person dies. The tiresome memories of a person you did not know and likely never met and if you did you met the "marketing" version of the guy. And in 48 hours all when be forgotten.

When you truly mourn the loss of someone it takes weeks, months, sometimes years to get over them.

October 3, 2017 @ 9:54 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Sharing memories of how an artist's art affected you can be rather therapeutic and is completely optional. You certainly don't need to partake.

I don't think anyone confuses such a loss with the loss of a loved one. But that doesn't mean it's unworthy of mention. Everything in its right place.

October 3, 2017 @ 9:56 AM

Nothing makes me cringe more

Nothing makes me cringe more than when a pompous troll tells others how they should feel.

October 3, 2017 @ 10:17 AM

Urooj Islam


Yeah, plus it seems so incredibly disingenuous. Like the first thing people think about when someone noteworthy dies is how I can make their death about me and my experiences.

October 3, 2017 @ 10:19 AM


celebrities specifically musicians who die hold a different place in each of our lives. It may not be the same as a family member or friend but the music they created you can usually identify with points in your life and if that said musicians art impacted you in a significant way you can greave and be thankful you had the music and thankful that the music lives on

October 3, 2017 @ 10:20 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Urooj Islam

Isn't that the entire point of art?

October 3, 2017 @ 10:20 AM

Get A Life

This is a public forum. We generally share memories we can all relate to. Certainly mother's death or Aunt Alice's will more traumatic to each individually but what exactly is wrong with remembering or commemorating a person who reached many ?

October 3, 2017 @ 10:21 AM

Urooj Islam

@ Toronto MIke

Yeah, I guess you're right.

I'm just tired of the automated responses people have about mass shootings perpetrated by white males in the US (shrug your shoulders and wait for the next one) and celebrity deaths (quick to make it about themselves even to the point where they can't even wait for the celebrity to officially die before they do). And the last 48 hours have been an overload on that front.

October 3, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Urooj Islam

I've chosen not to write about these frequent mass shootings in the USA.

As for a popular musician like Tom Petty, I enjoy reminiscing and sharing his music. No fakery here, I really did love Full Moon Fever as a teen and spoke warmly about the documentary on more than one episode of my podcast. So making it "all about me" is part of the deal. We share the man's art with the masses, but we each have a different personal story or reaction. That's the entire premise of the Kick Out the Jams! episodes I enjoy recording.

As for mourning before he died, that wasn't intentional. We thought he had passed. I won't ever intentionally refer to someone in the past tense before he or she dies.

October 3, 2017 @ 10:42 AM


@Urooj Islam

"automated response" is a good way to phrase it. It's a great example of the drone-like masses which exist on social media. Golly a guy who released music 25 years ago has died and suddenly you're really sad. Now we can expect Jeff Woods or Alan Cross to regale us with the wonders of Tom Petty & his influence on music.

As for the mass shootings, the real tragedy is the inaction by the US government. Mass shootings are routine & so "insignificant" to society the media doesn't report them.

Oh look the "anonymous trolls" are back. LOL.

October 3, 2017 @ 10:55 AM


Why the hate people? no one is being hurt with writing about how someone effected them with their art or what they meant to them so maybe your the problem here. If you don't like it then stop reading

October 3, 2017 @ 11:08 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

To @mrmojorisinca's point...

If these posts make you cringe, feel free to abstain from commenting, or reading.

This blog now has 14043 entries, and you're not going to like them all.

When I tweeted that Steve Simmons was coming on my podcast, I got a long email from a listener telling me why they weren't going to listen. I replied with a simple "That's your right. :)"

October 3, 2017 @ 11:12 AM


Mike you were right to report this when you did. I will miss you Mr. Petty RIP

October 3, 2017 @ 11:20 AM


Who hates people? I'm simply pointing out the robotic like response to death of "stars" on social media? If some rock station wants to do a bit on the guy, go ahead. If you want to write "I loved those records RIP Tom" sure. When you start saying you're "shocked" or "can't believe this" well that's over the top. Let me ask. Will this cross your mind a week from now? I doubt it.

October 3, 2017 @ 11:28 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm trying really hard to see your point here.

Tom Petty was a popular musician who just finished his tour days ago. Nobody woke up yesterday expecting that Petty might die that day. He seemed healthy, was active and was only 66. So if someone is shocked, that's fair. I was surprised because he looked and sounded great on this recent tour.

If I may, I think you and @Urooj are throwing these reactions in with the "thoughts and prayers" reactions to the Vegas shooting. IMHO, these are entirely different things. There were no "thoughts and prayers" posts here.

But if someone wants to be shocked a popular musician they enjoyed has passed, that's fair... even if it doesn't last two weeks.

Like I said, everything in its right place.

October 3, 2017 @ 11:36 AM


yeah it probably will cross my mind, music is a big part of my life..but it won't be the only thing. but even if it didn't in the moment it did "Suck" it was "Shocking" and "I still didn't believe" it at the time

October 3, 2017 @ 11:41 AM


"Nobody woke up yesterday expecting that Petty might die that day. He seemed healthy, was active and was only 66"

My guess is no one woke up even thinking about Tom Petty at all. If they did they heard him on a rock station driving to work. Further you nor anyone else knew if he was healthy, active or sick. In 2 days his memory will be forgotten. Just like Chris C or Chester B or whoever.

As for thoughts and prayers, my attitude is this. Take those two prayer hands and use them to go do something. Prayer accomplishes nothing.

October 3, 2017 @ 11:48 AM


I scanned these comments and now my brain hurts.

For me, Tom Petty's death at 66, resonated. It moves the notion of mortality ever closer. If you're a thinking person, that should cause you pause. All of our days are numbered. It's a stark reminder to not waste a moment because without notice, it can all just go away.

October 3, 2017 @ 11:54 AM


just because you will not remember them doesn't mean other's won't.

October 3, 2017 @ 11:56 AM


And let's investigate "shocked". That's like when CNN has "breaking news" that Taylor Swift released a new record. Or when 660 News has a storm report because there are flurries. Or anything "terrorist" when it's not really terrorism.

But here's the real irony. If Kim K was to die tomorrow a group of people would mourn her passing. But my guess is many of these Tom Petty fans would say "who cares, she was a waste of skin".

October 3, 2017 @ 11:59 AM


yes when one of the Dash woman passes on I will not bat an eye but I will not go to a board that has people who looked up to her for what ever reason and try to say they are wrong to do so.

October 3, 2017 @ 12:22 PM


sorry that was me int he last post..not WCI

October 3, 2017 @ 12:22 PM


and I have a very low opinion on the dash klan so that says alot.

October 3, 2017 @ 12:24 PM


This bummed me out. Big fan.

October 3, 2017 @ 1:15 PM

James Edgar

I skimmed the comments and WTF comes to mind.
Anyway RIP tom. I wasn't much of a fan but i listened to a Tom Petty playlist on iTunes this morning and there really are some great tunes in his catalog. under rated by me for sure. I'm going to check out that documentary soon.

October 3, 2017 @ 1:25 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I actually did think about Tom Petty yesterday before I heard he was in the hospital.

I was reading about the Vegas shooting, and my thoughts turned to the Simpsons episode The Cartridge Family. There's a great scene in that episode where Homer is waiting five days for his firearm. The scene is set to Tom Petty's The Waiting.

October 3, 2017 @ 1:27 PM


I wasn't a big fan, but I enjoyed Free Falling. When an artist I really like passes away, I love to see all the tributes from fans - music makes the world go round.

Plus, once I read that he was brain dead on TMZ, I knew it was a matter of time before he would be declared dead :( everyone should be allowed to have their say. And esp as you've added KOTJ - no surprise to see you post here - and you would have even without KOTJ!

October 3, 2017 @ 3:11 PM



The glorification and the idolization & the "mourning" of these artists is not about principle. It's two fold. The first is aging rockers realize they're not longer immortal & their heroes are dying. The second is it's only because they like the artist. If Beiber kicks the bucket tomorrow this forum and others would probably regale in joy.

I have no issue with people liking Petty. Nor do I have issue with people writing "RIP Tom, thanks for the tunes" or the like. I do take issue at people who seem almost distraught this guy they didn't know and never met is gone. Then, 2 whole days later, they've moved on. You saw that with Chris Cornell & Chester Bennington, both suicide victims, both now pretty much forgotten. The internet and social media have become like a flock of birds. One bird goes left & the entire flock follows, unaware why they're going left. It doesn't matter. Just that's where they're going.

I just find this whole worship of these people nauseating. Not because of the RIP stuff. But because the day before his death he wasn't on most people's radar and hadn't been for years. He dies and everyone is remembering him. It's akin to showing up at a funeral of a family member you never saw for 25 years and then wiping away the tears. It's bullsh*t.

October 3, 2017 @ 4:07 PM


You really have some twisted and disturbed contributors on here and for me to say
that is really something as I'm on the Spectrum!! No one has the right to tell anyone
who they should mourn for and in what form, celebrities and civilians alike. Bieber
and the Kardashians were horrible examples to give as they probably aren't on the
radar of most of your listeners, even if I understand the point that the West Coast
Irritant was trying to make. I guess some people's sole purpose in life is to take a
constant steaming dump on the thoughts and feelings of others?!?

October 3, 2017 @ 4:27 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Guys, this one is simple. If you don't want to celebrate an artist who has just passed, skip these entries!

If Kim K. dies tomorrow, the last thing I'd do is go to a public forum where people were mourning the loss to shit all them and/or her. I'd just let it be.

Back to Petty... here's another recent hit that owes a great deal to Tom.

October 3, 2017 @ 4:33 PM


Hopefully your previous comment will be comprehended by those who need to understand
it the most, but somehow I doubt it! Oh well, thanks for trying nevertheless!! The one thing that
is most certain is that the man's tremendous 40-plus year musical archive will live on well past
the collective spite/malice of the detractors and haters!!!

October 3, 2017 @ 4:41 PM


Beatts, bummed me out too. Saw him at Maple Leaf Gardens in the 80's. Great show. Just recently read his biography, interesting story, interesting man, troubled, but still a great songwriter.

October 3, 2017 @ 6:37 PM


In a strange twist of fate Gary Shandling,one of Tom Petty's best friends,also died unexpectedly at age 66 recently. I enjoyed watching episodes of 'The Larry Sanders Show' when they were on together.

October 3, 2017 @ 10:03 PM


In a strange twist of fate Gary Shandling,one of Tom Petty's best friends,also died unexpectedly at age 66 recently. I enjoyed watching episodes of 'The Larry Sanders Show' when they were on together.

October 3, 2017 @ 10:03 PM



Sounds like it would have been great show. I've never seen him. Mind you I don't go to many concerts because I honestly can't stand crowds (getting worse in my old age).

Tom Petty has been a 20 year long teasing marathon between me and my wife. She can't stand his music. It's like nails on a chalk board to her. As a goof, any time we had to switch vehicles I would always leave it on a Tom Petty song just so I could have her curse me later that night over dinner.

As much as I would torment her by doing this, and signing karaoke to "Learning to fly" on car rides together for the past 20 years she asked me earlier this year if I wanted tickets to his Toronto show. She was willing to go to make me happy. I reluctantly said no, I didn't think it would be fair to force her through a show she wouldn't like, and I had no interest going with anyone else to the show.

Such is life.

As far as WCI's comments, I respect anybodies right and ability to speak their opinion regardless of stance.

The only thing the peaks my curiosity is that it takes time and effort to be that negative over something they have no control over. What purpose does that serve? Seems like a waste of energy.

To each their own.

October 4, 2017 @ 11:19 AM


I've been telling myself for the last 10 years I need to see Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen and never do. So Next time Bruce is in town i'm going because you just never know!

October 4, 2017 @ 1:55 PM


Smart move, as Senor Springsteen is now 68 and sounded a little rough at the
Invictus Games finale concert the other night. Hopefully he'll keep on going for
a long time yet to come!!

October 4, 2017 @ 2:07 PM


I've always said I don't want my fav bands to end up like the Who or the Stone
But if said band can still bring it then by all means! and from everyone I spoken to Bruce can still bring it.

October 4, 2017 @ 2:27 PM


I've always said I don't want my fav bands to end up like the Who or the Stones
But if said band can still bring it then by all means! and from everyone I spoken to Bruce can still bring it.

October 4, 2017 @ 2:27 PM


It might just be that I prefer a plugged-in Bruce with the East Street Band. Although
I totally love the Nebraska album.

October 4, 2017 @ 2:42 PM


I can understand that..but sometimes a little acoustic goes a long way :)

October 4, 2017 @ 2:48 PM


Well, it certainly did on Nebraska but didn't really care for The Ghost of Tom Joad, but
did enjoy Devils & Dust album. His current run on Broadway is in the acoustic storytelling
forma,t so it should be good night of stories and music.

October 4, 2017 @ 2:51 PM


Not every album can be Great..especially with a long career like his
even the great Neil Young has a few duds

October 4, 2017 @ 2:55 PM


I personally love most of Neil Young's Geffen-era so-called misfires!!
At least nobody could claim they weren't interesting. See Trans, Landing On
Water, Life, etc.!

October 4, 2017 @ 2:58 PM


Interesting for sure :)

October 4, 2017 @ 3:00 PM


Sometimes I think that it would have been great if many of the classic rock artists
had taken more risks in their heyday. Most of the Rolling Stones' attempts at fitting
into various other genres were blatant commercial calculations from Mick Jagger.

October 4, 2017 @ 3:03 PM


I don't know..I like them taking risks too..and I'll use U2 as my example here..the 90's were all experimenting for them and they took beating for Lemon, POP era stuff and while its not my fav stuff at least they tried..all the new stuff they have all sounds the same..Even Pearl Jam who are religion for me, loved No Code, Binaural ..but the last two albums while I enjoyed a few songs off each alot of it was just the same..Except the Fixer and Ole hate those songs! but they tried to be different with those two for sure..

October 4, 2017 @ 3:11 PM


I might be the wrong guy to admit this, but I loved U2's Zooropa and Pop albums a whole
lot more than i did Achtung Baby. It is unfortunate that for the lion's share of their fanbase,
these albums (well, at least Pop) weren't very enjoyable. I now consider Bono to be a lot like
Mick Jagger in some of the musical choices that U2 have made over the last 15 years or so.
The first few tracks off their new album due in December have been alright, so perhaps
there is hope for some great new rock music in the very near future?

October 4, 2017 @ 3:20 PM


Basement Dweller

Once again the rock snob comes out in you. Outside of Tom Petty fans "no one" gives a fuck the guy had a 40 year career OK. Classical music has existed for hundreds of years & it's dead. Same for Jazz music.

Petty's music matters to people that cared about music from his generation. That's it. Buddy Holly is non existent to most people now, same for Petty in a few years. As soon as the Boomers & later Gen X people kick the bucket.

Again, out comes the rock snob and self importance. What YOU like is important and timeless. It's not. It only is to you. Musicians are not immortal nor timeless. They only matter to their generation.

October 5, 2017 @ 12:10 AM


You are quite sad. What do you care what I or anyone else enjoys or pays tribute to?
Never said that Tom Petty was the be all and end all or that anyone else needs to give
a damn about his music and lengthy career. I suspect that you are a very angry and bitter
person because you were involved in the music/radio industry and perhaps it did not end
well. That does not give you the right to personally attack me or anyone else just because
you don't agree with what they write. In this case there was nothing even remotely controversial
about what I wrote and you still took your bloody claws out! You accuse me and others of being
elitists, rocks snobs, etc., but how are you any different with your endless negativity and tired
rants? Why don't you provide us all with a concise list of some of the current music that you
enjoy so that we can judge for ourselves? Please note, despite what you might foolishly believe,
I enjoy a wide variety of music both old and new. I'm sure that you are old enough to remember
that there once was a time when there was room for many types of music in the popular zeitgeist.
Sadly, those days died a long time ago. Nothing wrong with reminiscing about that. If you don't
like nostalgia then this blog probably isn't for you!!

October 5, 2017 @ 9:13 AM


Amen to that bsmntdwllr73

@WCI who the F_ck pissed in your corn flakes? let it go man just let it go.

October 5, 2017 @ 10:49 AM


Thanks for your support! This guy is in need of some serious anger management

October 5, 2017 @ 10:56 AM


Life to short to be that angry
I could sit here and try and come up with reason why people like him do what they do..but it all comes back to life is to short.
I just read an article, and Marilyn Manson said something I thought was funny and important (well the third rule anyway)

"Rule number one: Don't make beats that confuse strippers. I've told this to several drummers, like Josh Homme and Dave Lombardo from Slayer. Rule two: Don't make a movie that does not include some sort of romantic element, whether it be a sex scene, or it be nudity. The essence of everyone's hopes and dreams is to find somebody to share their lives with, unless you're a complete sociopath...which, I consider myself a very well-trained psychopath, but psychopaths don't have an emotional element to their actions. Rule three would be to remember the first two rules, but also to remember your own advice. Finally, smell the flowers before you stomp on them"

October 5, 2017 @ 11:12 AM


Good advice for us all but I'm sure that the West Coast Irritant will b.chast-slap
and chastise us both no matter what we or anyone else writes!! He is obviously the
most intelligent us all and only HIS word is bond!!!

October 5, 2017 @ 3:10 PM


Sorry, meant to write bitch-slap above!!

October 5, 2017 @ 3:11 PM

Markham Photographer

As a Canadian, I've always thought of Tom Petty as one of the most quintessentially "American" classic rock acts, along with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and John Melloncamp. Not just in the sense that they are American, but that I think their music embodies the American spirit.

October 6, 2017 @ 2:31 PM


@Markham Photographer
Thank you for helping to bring sober thought back to this particular thread along with
mrmojorisinca!! Couldn't agree more with your comment.

October 6, 2017 @ 2:42 PM

Dr. Seymour Light

Tom Petty, Leon Russell, David Bowie, Gregg Allman etc etc etc...depending on your generation and taste in music, these and other artists appeal to a wide range of people. Either you like them, do not, or have no idea, that's alright, there is no contest or right or wrong answer. These are rock and roll songs and singers.....

October 6, 2017 @ 4:42 PM

Urooj Islam

The Barry Davis Kick Out the Jams episode should be him just singing his favourite Tom Petty songs, LOL.

October 6, 2017 @ 4:50 PM


@Dr. Seymour Light
And ALL are Rock & roll Hall of Famers. My generation of Muzak.

October 6, 2017 @ 7:54 PM


Earlier in the week, it was rudely brought to my attention (earlier in this very thread!) that
music is not timeless, and that our favourite songs/artists will cease to exist and/or have
meaning with the collective passing of the Boomer generation and their subsequent
kin. What a complete and utter load of crap!! The examples given included classical, jazz
and Buddy Holly. Although the latter might not be as culturally-relevant as he was back in
1957 or 1958, the musical seeds he helped to plant are still being sown, although not as
obviously as in the past. Also, jazz and classical music still have their faithful adherents and it
is ridiculous to believe/claim that this will not continue to be true. As long as there is some kind of recorded archive of music, then it will continue to be discovered, enjoyed and fought over for millenia to come, or at least until something better comes along (meaning: NEVER!!) To the
cynics: Music's true relevance/value shouldn't be based on radio airplay, streaming statistics and
other economical factors.

October 7, 2017 @ 9:41 AM


Although I never owned any of his albums there are several songs of his I like and have watched the videos for over the years. Won't Back Down is one of my fav songs of all time. He will be missed.

All the good ones are dying!

October 11, 2017 @ 9:13 PM



Just need new good ones, or to discover them :)

I am unabashedly a Tom Petty fan, but his Playback DVD video collection is just awesome. There's probably an updated Bluray edition by now.

October 11, 2017 @ 9:31 PM

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