American musician and actor Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was the frontman for the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They started in 1976. He has enjoyed success as the leader of the band Mudcrutch, as a member of the late ’80s ensemble the Traveling Wilburys, and as a solo artist.
Tom Petty Early Life
Tom Petty’s birthday is October 20th. Therefore he was born Thomas Earl Petty on that date in Gainesville, Florida. His mother, the Kitty, worked at a tax office, and his father, the Earl, worked in a supermarket. Bruce was Tom’s younger brother by seven years. Earl was a heavy drinker and gambler who was regularly violent and harsh toward Tom.
When Petty was ten years old, he saw Elvis Presley and was immediately captivated by rock & roll. After watching The Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Petty knew he wanted to be a musician. Tom quit high school when he was 17 to devote himself to being a bass player for the band Mudcrutch.
Tom Petty Career
Petty joined Mudcrutch as the bass player but quickly rose to become the band’s vocalist and primary composer. After relocating to Los Angeles in 1974, the band disbanded the following year due to weak single sales. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers formed in 1976 with Ron Blair and Stan Lynch and longtime friends Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench.
In November of that year, the band issued its debut self-titled album, which included the hit singles “Breakdown” and “American Girl.” Several additional popular songs, such as “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Refugee,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” followed their initial success.
They went on to create a total of 12 more studio albums. For their performance at the 2008 Super Bowl XLII halftime show, the band received a ranking of #12 on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s 2020 list of the top Super Bowl halftime displays. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played their farewell show ever on September 25, 2017, at the Hollywood Bowl, and “American Girl” was the last song they ever played live.
When George Harrison formed The Traveling Wilburys with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynne in 1988, Tom was one of the new members. In addition to their two albums, the band also won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group in 1990. After Roy Orbison’s death in December 1988, the band was unable to include him on their second album.
The songs “Free Fallin’,” “I Won’t Back Down,” and “Running Down a Dream” all originated from Petty’s debut solo album, “Full Moon Fever,” which was released in 1989. There were two more solo albums from him: “Wildflowers” in 1994 and “Highway Companion” in 2006.
Tom Petty Personal Life
Between 1974 to 1996, Tom was married to Jane Benyo, and from 2001 until his death in 2017, he was wed to Dana York. He and Benyo had two daughters; Annakim is an artist and designer, while Adria is a video director who has collaborated with Beyoncé and Regina Spektor. York’s son Dylan also considered Petty his stepfather. Petty struggled with heroin addiction in the late ’90s, but he went to a drug rehab centre and was able to beat it in time for the Heartbreakers’ 1999 tour.
Tom Petty Died Of An Accidental Drug Overdose
N.Y. (Associated Press) — Tom Petty’s family claims he died of an accidental drug overdose on the same day he found out his hip was shattered after playing dozens of performances with a less serious ailment. Petty passed away last year. Petty’s wife and daughter made the announcement on his Facebook page on Friday, only minutes before the Los Angeles coroner’s office made its own announcements and revealed the entire autopsy report.
The coroner’s office reportedly informed Dana and Adria Petty earlier in the day that the overdose was caused by a combination of drugs. According to the autopsy results, Petty had a cocktail of prescription medications, sedatives, and an antidepressant. Fentanyl and oxycodone were among the medicines discovered in his system. A fentanyl overdose was also ruled to be the cause of Prince’s death in April of 2016.
According to his family, Petty was committed to performing despite having emphysema, a damaged hip, and knee ailments that caused him pain. In the days leading up to his untimely death in October at age 66, he completed a tour. His family said in a statement that he played more than 50 gigs with a broken hip and was told on the day he died that the fracture had progressed to a full break.
“We feel that the pain was just overwhelming and was the basis for his over usage of drugs,” the statement said. The family stated, “we are convinced that this was, as the coroner ruled, a sad accident,” referring to the fact that Petty had been prescribed multiple pain drugs, including fentanyl patches, for his many ailments.
They went on to say, “As a family, we understand our report may prompt additional conversation on the opioid crisis; we believe this is a healthy and necessary topic; and we hope this report may save lives in some small way.” Many persons who overdose have previously had pain or legitimately prescribed drugs for an ailment.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 3, 2017
Among the most often prescribed drugs in the United States are painkillers and sedatives, both of which have the same undesirable effect of slowing the user’s heart rate and respiration. The FDA has issued a warning against combining them, as doing so increases the risk of respiratory depression, coma, and death.
In December, the government disclosed data showing that the opioid painkiller fentanyl and its related drugs were responsible for more deaths than prescription painkillers and heroin combined for the first time. Petty, who grew up in Gainesville, Florida, was influenced by the music of the Byrds, the Beatles, and other groups. As a result, he became a rock star who seemed like any other guy.
Songs like “Free Fallin’,” “Refugee,” and “American Girl” that he produced are now considered classics. They just finished a 40th anniversary tour celebrating their long-running band, the Heartbreakers, which he had intimated would be their last. In excess of 80 million recordings were sold by the blond with the shaggy hairstyle during his meteoric rise to fame in the 1970s.
Fans adored his nasally vocals, strong rock melodies, and humble demeanour. Petty and the Heartbreakers were commended for being “enduring, resourceful, hard-working, charming, and unpretentious” when they were elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
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