By: Joe Durante
On Monday, Oct. 2, legendary singer Tom Petty passed away at the age of 66 after suffering cardiac arrest in Santa Monica, California.
Petty was born in 1950 in Gainesville, Florida and had the privilege to meet Elvis Presley on a movie set when he was only 11 years old. After working on the movie with “The King Of Rock N Roll,” Petty was inspired to become a true rock star.
In the 1970’s, Petty and the Heartbreakers first became popular. Petty had many hit songs, such as “Free Fallen,” “Running Down A Dream,” “American Girl,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” and “I Won’t Back Down.”
“Tom Petty has always been a household name in my home. I was raised on the classics, singing his lyrics since I was in diapers. He was loved by millions around the world but he filled a spot in my family like no other” said senior Leah Forbes. “Over the years, we’ve been to plenty of his concerts. His music has the power to heal in any situation, but right now I think listening to his songs would bring me to tears. This news broke my heart; he will truly be missed.”
In the year 1976, The Heartbreakers debuted their hit “Breakdown,” but they did not become a major sensational band until their third album “Damn the Torpedoes.” The album which was released in the early eighties with their hit songs such as “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “Refugee.”
“I think Tom Petty was a Rock N Roll Pioneer and he definitely defines what Rock N Roll is and I know that to pass away at the age of 66 at such a young standards, I was quite devastated” said Robert Coloney, Director of the Jack Welch College Of Business.“Tom Petty has truly left an unbelievable foot print on Rock N Roll and the music industry as a whole and I will always turn on Tom Petty the moment I hear him on the radio.”
Over the years, Petty had collaborated with many legendary artists such as Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and many other artists throughout the years. By the year of 2002, Tom Petty had been inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame along side his band, The Heartbreakers. Also this past summer, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers had finished up touring for the summer and for their 40th Anniversary.
“I was very sad to hear of Tom Petty’s passing due to the fact he was relatively young and he was a terrific musician, I have been a fan for so long, and I had no idea he had any health issues” said Professor William Youseman.