Ladies and gentlemen,
It is with a heavy heart and sadness that I announce to you the passing of Tom Petty.http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/03/entertainment/tom-petty-obit/index.html
I never met Mr. Petty in person, but I knew one of his neighbors. Tom Petty had a big heart. He truly cared about others and his surroundings. I recall back during the LA riots, Tom Petty came on with Public Service Announcements and wrote and recorded a song trying to bring peace. Tom Petty was against violence in all forms and stood up against war and what have you. He was a peaceful man and neighborly. In the first Malibu fire, Tom lost his home, but as fire was approaching went around the neighborhood helping his neighbors evacuate.
The neighbor of his I once knew told me a story of how he happen to catch Tom (usually one never knew he was at home as he was not a party animal and all that, he was always very quiet) coming out to get his mail or newspaper. This neighbor was also a musician and was having a small party that night. Nervously, he approached Tom and invited him to his party. Tom gave a pleasant, but non-committed answer. Later that evening about an hour into the party, the door bell rang and standing there was Tom Petty with a bottle of wine in one hand and a guitar in the other. I was also told that there was music shared.
When Tom had his guitars stolen not long ago by a studio security guard, it was reported that the guard tried to pawn them and the pawn shop owner immediately reported it to the authorities. Tom Petty himself went to the shop and gratefully retrieved his prized guitars. Asking the owner of the shop if he was coming to the show the next night, the owner replied that he wasn’t sure due to other commitments. Tom said with a smile, “Well, why don’t you come down anyway and enjoy the show, front row.”
I can only imagine what the industry is going through right now as are we. Tom’s family friends and all the band were at hospital at his side.
In Tom’s honor try to play some of his music perhaps, those of us in any aspect of industry including journalists, are now half-mast in Tom’s honor as we try to get through this difficult time.
Tom Petty, you will be greatly missed! Rest in peace Tom.