Tom Petty Dead at 66 After Going Into Cardiac Arrest

Tom Petty, the musical legend behind some of rock’s greatest hits, died Monday after going into cardiac arrest.He was 66.The “Free Fallin’” singer was taken to UCLA Medical Center early Monday morning but could not be revived, Tony Dimitriades, the band manager said in a statement.He died at 11:30 p.m., surrounded by family, friends and his bandmates.

Throughout his prolific career, Petty notched three Grammy wins and 18 nominations, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Gainesville, Fl. native launched his indelible legacy at 17, when he quit high school to join the Florida band Mudcrutch.

In doing so, he escaped an abusive father; a charming, charismatic man with a violent drunk streak. Music, Petty told Men’s Journal in 2014, was a “safe place.”



  1. So much for great wealth ensuring long lives. Rock stars in particular seem to be disproportionately expiring in their sixties.

    Everything Tom Petty accomplished will stand the test of time as authentic American rock. Sure, he took his initial inspiration from Roger McGuinn of The Byrds. But he soon stamped his own imprint on everything he created with The Heartbreakers, Mudcrutch and duet partners such as Stevie Nicks.

    I first heard Tom on a San Diego FM station while on a stopover during an AmTrak tour of America. The sinewy, spooky guitar intro drew me in to a song called Strangered In The Night from his debut album. The title seemed an obvious play on the Sinatra classic Strangers In The Night.

    I interviewed Tom a couple of years later for Dave McCormick’s Discumentary. A great tale spinner, he was more than happy to chat about the pivotal, childhood encounter he had with Elvis on the set of a Presley film. With a rake-thin frame and wheat-sheaf straight hair, he was still a young man full of rock n roll dreams.

    RIP and may your jangly guitar entrance folks upstairs.

  2. What a talent! He really looked up to Elvis Presley as a kid. He was part of the next generation of music stars. Passing away just after a long and gruelling 40th anniversary tour. He gave it all he had, maybe he knew something he wasnt telling us before embarked on this final tour. RIP Tom Petty!

  3. Another one of the ‘greats’, says goodbye – and this one hurts. Tom Petty literally saved my life, when I was not in ‘a good place’. After playing his songs, I would rethink the alternative.
    RIP, Mr. Petty, and thanks for bringing so much happiness and joy to an increasingly confusing and dark World. I will really miss you.


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