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Tom Petty Talks Hypnotic Eye on September 2014 Cover of Relix

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Southern Accents: Lady A's Charles Kelley, Randy Houser and more remember Tom Petty

Local musician remembers rocker Tom Petty

Legendary US rock artist and leader of The Heartbreakers, Tom Petty has died. It is with sadness that fans learned Tom Petty passed away at the UCLA Medical Center on October 2, 2017, at 8:40 p.m. PT, after suffering from cardiac arrest.

You can listen to a Cafe session and interview with Mudcrutch, the five-piece band that got Petty and friends on the road to rock "n" roll in the early '70s, who then reunited for a second LP and tour in 2016.

It was a cold and overcast day in April of 1989 when Tom Petty released his first solo album, which featured the hit song "Free Fallin, '" a tune which would come to be recognized the world over. Released in 1982, it may actually be one of Petty's most dated works.

Tom Petty was the soundtrack of my childhood.

The performer had been touring with the Heartbreakers as recently as last Monday at the esteemed Hollywood Bowl. "I grew up on Tom Petty with my Dad and that's how I learned to play the way that I do now".

While many hoped the "I Won't Back Down Singer" was the victim of another Internet rumor or hoax, the confirmation came as a crushing blow.

One of Petty's favorite cannabis-related pastimes was to learn about history. He encouraged it. "You can stand me up at the gates of hell / But I won't back down!".

The almost four-hour rock doc on Petty from 2007, Runnin' Down a Dream, directed by Peter Bogdanovich and available on Netflix, provides insight as to why his fans stay loyal.

The Florida-born artist later pursued a solo career and joined the Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup fronted by former Beatle George Harrison and consisting of Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne from Electric Light Orchestra.

Petty had just wrapped up a 40th-anniversary tour September 25 that he told Rolling Stones would be his, "last trip around the country". "To the point that if the phone did ring and they said 'Stevie died, ' I wouldn't have been surprised".

"No words. Just thanks", wrote filmmaker Cameron Crowe, who once directed a video for Petty and used his music in films. But I think the cat's out of the bag, and it's gonna be legalized.

"I'm always interested in the older music, and I'm still always discovering things that I didn't know about", said Petty, married to Dana York since 2001. "You were a staple in my life and you will be missed".

Petty mocked a corporate-dominated music business on "The Last DJ" with the Heartbreakers in 2002, and continued to make albums with the Heartbreakers through "Nobody's Children" in 2015.

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