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Tom Petty: 1950 - 2017

  • October 2, 2017
    Tom Petty: 1950 - 2017

    Photo: Lynn Goldsmith


    On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty.

    He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived.

    He died peacefully at 8:40PM PST surrounded by family, his bandmates, and friends.

    - Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, on behalf of the family

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mgmt1's picture
on October 2, 2017

Photo: Lynn Goldsmith


On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty.

He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived.

He died peacefully at 8:40PM PST surrounded by family, his bandmates, and friends.

- Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, on behalf of the family

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Kmcgovern0101's picture

There is only one word to describe losing Tom Petty and that is ...Devastating! I feel like I have lost my best friend... Although he never knew we were best friends :( His music has helped me through many tough times over the last 30 years. My heart goes out to the Petty family and The Heartbreakers. Tom will always have a place in my heart no one else can fill. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers will always live on in Rock and Roll history! Tom the legacy you have left will never die in our home. "Good night sweet baby, sleep tight my love. May God watch over you from above" Tom you will be forever missed!!
remissionx's picture

This one really hurts. I feel so fortunate to have had many wonderful experiences with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Thank you for your music, awesome attitude on life and giving soul. May you Rest In Peace Tom Petty. I’m going to miss you.
Jughead43's picture

I am devastated to hear of Tom's passing. I want to thank Tom and The Heartbreakers for the hope and inspiration they have given me through their music. I have been a true fan for over 30 years, I have seen them play over 20 times, and truly feel blessed to have experienced them all in my life. Thank you guys. I pray that the Lord finds ways to comfort all of Tom's family and friends. Your music will touch lives forever. God Bless you all.
Rdittoe's picture

My wife and I are about Tom's age. We listened to him on the radio and had some of his albums back in the 70's but didn't realize the breadth of his music until becoming avid listeners of Tom Petty Radio. When we got the opportunity to see him in Columbus during the 40th Anniversary tour we were spellbound. We loved the concert so much we flew to Boston to see him there and then flew to see his last concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Never would we have imagined that when he rocked out "American Girl" we would be seeing his last song. We've seen a lot of famous people pass on but never have we had the same empty feeling as we're experiencing now. It's like we lost a good friend. Thanks for the great music Tom and thoughts and prayers for your family and friends during this tough time. You'll live on through your music forever.
wildblueroan's picture

Like so many others I am struggling to balance feelings of profound gratitude for the meaning, solace and magic Tom gave us as throughout our lives, the intention to send him out with the light of our love and the bottomless grief we feel. The world already feels so much colder and meaner without his spirit. Peace and strength to the Heartbreakers and to his family.
10936B's picture

A diamond in the sky forever. RIP Tom Petty My sympathies to your beautiful family.
plarsen's picture

Thank you very much for sharing your music with the world. Your music will never die. See you on the other side.
mokeen's picture

Tom, Thanks for being you!! We are all heartbroken. Love to your family.
claudio_ny's picture

I'm going to write in spanish, Tuvimos la suerte con my wife de ver a Tom in MSG hace 3 years y repetir el recien pasado July 27 in Queens, NY acompanados de un gran amigo que vino desde Chile a ver el concert, no sabiamos ni remotamente que esa seria la ultima vez que vimos, cantamos, bailamos y disfrutamos en vivo de unos de los grandes del Rock. Ayer fue un pesimo Monday, cuando recibi the bad news quede helado y sin muy trizte, duro y dificil de entender, el tiempo y su gran legado ayudaran a cerrar las heridas. Good bye brother Tom!!, nos diste muchas horas y dias de entretenimiento, comentario, placer y gozo escuchando tu gran musica, thank you, god bless you and prayers for your family, friends and band. GALVEZTON, LONG ISLAND, NY
DEV and MARY's picture

We are so sorry to hear about Tom's passing. He has been an inspiration for me as a musician since 76' and my wife and I have followed his tours throughout the last 3 decades in the western states. We love Tom and will miss him very much and we hope his family and close friends are able to survive this his devastating loss. Thank you Tom for all of you awesome music, storytelling, making us all dance and rock out with you! You will never be forgotten and will be loved and your legacy will live on forever. Rest in Peace my great brother from another. Deven & Mary Finnie Stun Gun Jones band Monterey California
bkoski1961's picture

PLAIN ol Heartbreaking losing the BEST #Musician in the World, Gosh I'll miss this Man 4Ever ~ Such a Legend gave his WHOLE Heart, Soul to his Family, Friends, Bands and US his Fans! THANK you from the Bottom of my Heart Tom for all you GAVE, and you GAVE all! God Bless you, Prayers to your Family and Band #Heartbreakers #TomPetty We all LOVE you ~'s picture

We like so many feel a huge loss. Tom and the Heartbreaker's, thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift you have given all of us. We feel fortunate to have seen you twice this summer with all our kids and our siblings. RIP
karenpayne's picture

Like millions of others, I am so deeply saddened by the loss of Tom Petty. To me, Tom gave me and my son a narrative to understand our lives through his songs. He spoke to those of us who feel our experiences deeply and are sometimes troubled and at a loss for words on how to navigate those moments. He helped us navigate fear, disappointment, confusion, and yes, loss. Being the humble man he was, Tom probably never realized the number of lives he touched in such a profoundly meaningful way. I lost count of the number of concerts I was privileged to attend but at least twenty over the years, three during this most recent tour. Honestly, I have never seen Tom any happier playing than at the Hollywood Bowl last week. Whatever pain or conflict he may have been carrying, he found his joy and let it shine for all of us. All I can do now is grieve for a short time and then be so very grateful for all the memories and all those songs that will never pass away. THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, Tom, for helping create a fabric to examine and explore the emotional side of life. With a heavy heart, I say rest in peace. You do indeed belong in a place you feel free.
wildblueroan's picture

nicely said, thank you for articulating all that. So grateful yet so hard to go on
cmbxuxa's picture

I'm a very lucky man to have seen Tom and the Band 10 times; RIP Tom!!! Perfect Vodka Amphitheather, WPB, Fl 05-06-2017 Cruzan Amphitheater , WPB, Fl 09-20-2014 Amway Arena, Orlando Fl 05-04-2012 Germain Arena, Estero Fl 05-01-2012 St. Pete Times Forum, St. Petersburg, Fl 09-16-2010 Bank Atlantic, Sunrise, Fl 07-15-2008 Sound Advice Theater, WPB Fl 06-08-2005 Mars Theater, W.P.B., Fl 08-07-2002 Mars Theater, W.P.B., Fl 09-22-1999 Miami Arena , Miami ,Fl 05-17-1995 My condolences to the family, the band, friends, and all of the rest of the fans that loved Tom Petty and the heartbreakers, like me and my wife do!!!! I'm so very sorry for the loss of such a great artist and song writer. My heart is heavy! Rick Branch and Hoa Dinh!
grof68's picture

"Time to move on. Time get goin'. What lies ahead, I have no way of knowin'." Brokenhearted and saddened by your untimely passing. My heart goes out to your family, friends and Heartbreakers. You left an indelible mark in my life and have been at the forefront of my life's soundtrack. You shall be forever remembered, and although I am very sad by your passing, I am very grateful to have found your music. Thank you for your life's work, it has not been in vain.
amkagc's picture

Our hearts are sad, It was always "us and Tom" together, partying our A$$ off. you were like "the crazy boyfriend" who brought out the best in you! We will miss you Tom! We loved you from the early 80's. So many concerts, 11 years ago at the Greek in Berkley (2 shows with my now husband, who had never seen you before, started the tour of our lives...Red Rocks, the Gorge in WA, Vancouver, Hollywood bowl, the Fonda, and so many more. We married on your B-day 2 years ago, and played your music at my daughters wedding! As you say Tom with arms outstretched to us all "THANK YOU....THANK YOU VERY MUCH"! for all the wonderful memories! Love and god speed to all. AK, MS & LL
boilerball's picture

I saw Tom and the HBs 4 times this year, at RedRocks, Wrigley, Petco, and KABOO. I sometimes questioned my rationale for the time and expense, but now I'm so thankful for each experience. His music provided the soundtrack for my adult life and I'm sad that I won't see him again or be amazed by another new song. My daughter was two weeks from being born when she attended her first Tom Petty concert and I'm proud that she has likewise became a dedicated fan. My father died on October 2nd, three years ago...a day that will always be remembered now for two of the most important people in my life. RIP Tom will be remembered by generations, today and tomorrow, in our hearts, ears and souls. Thanks to you and all the Heartbreakers, past and present, for pushing through the obstacles and remaining true to the music you made and shared with the world.
slm819's picture

Can't believe I just enjoyed your vibrancy in concert less than 2 weeks ago. Now you have sprouted your wings and learned to fly. Your music will live on forever. With heavy heart, my thoughts, prayers, condolences go to your family, your awesome bandmates, your friends and the millions of fans that loved you so much. Rock on in the big sky TP!
cbeam2112's picture

In 1976 I was a junior in high school living in a small Missouri town. We had no cell phones, computers or social media. We went to parties and listened to music on the radio. One day Breakdown came on and I stopped dead in my tracks, it was a vocal and instrumental style I had never heard before. I took my .90 cents an hour Dairy Queen money and bought the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers album and I’ve been a fan ever since. My first show seeing them was in 1977 and I went to every tour I could in each city I ended up living in. My favorite tour was in St. Louis where they had set up and elaborate stage show with a banyan tree and colored lanterns hanging from it and there was a large trunk case in the center stage and when Tom slowly opened it mid show it glowed from within and he and he reached in and pulled out an oversized purple velvet mad hatter hat and placed it on his head went into the best version of Don’t Come Around Here No More I’ve ever heard and we all went crazy, we’d never seen anything like it. I think I attended every tour but one because I was upset that one of his shows he and the guys were so out of it they forgot lyrics to standard hits so I skipped the next tour. My last show was this summer and it was bittersweet because I knew it would be the last time I would ever see him. I always related to his pain and struggles and while others might not have cared for his style or tone I found it magical. I know his life was hard from his childhood, love life, insecurities and drugs but he took all of it and made music with lyrics that spoke to so many. Last night when I heard he was gone I thought back on his music and I could correlate all the events of my life connected to each song. I was a fan from 1976 and will be until the day I leave this earth too. Thank you for the music you gave to us the world will not be the same without you in it.
luv-2-dive's picture

Before we were married my wife and I saw our first TP concert together back in the early 80’s. From that moment we made a vow to never miss a TP concert. Over 30 years later we have been to over 25 shows. In 2004 we took our four-year old son to his first show at an out-door venue outside of Vail CO. My knees were sore after dancing with my son on my shoulders for the whole show. In 2007 we were front row for a TP concert at Red Rocks and my son was given the drum sticks from Steve and guitar picks from Tom and Mike, where they now are displayed in a trophy case in his room. My son is now 17 years old and has been to 13 TP concerts. Tom and the Heartbreakers music has transcended many generations as evident of the crowds attending their concerts. Loosing Tom is like losing a member of the family, he created the soundtrack of our lives. We will never forget you Tom, R.I.P. in your room at the top of the world.
tomsamericangirl's picture

My heart is forever broken and my life will never be the same. No matter what troubles life brought me I could always listen you your songs or go to a concert and find joy. You could never know how happy you made this Indiana girl, may my love travel with you.
novaleashelton's picture

So Heartbroken over the loss of a great singer, songwriter, and true symbol of the everyday person. From teenage years to my fifties Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mudcrutch, and The Traveling Wilburys have always been at the top of my play list and shared with those I love and care about as my favorite artists of all time. So many of the songs reach out and touch everyday life and offer both understanding and escape from troubled times. Others simply offer good vibes and soulful enjoyment. So thankful for the concerts I have been able to attend and the music that will serve to mend this broken heart. RIP Tom Petty, You will be missed greatly, loved dearly, and continue to be an important part of the American music fabric and the lives of so many.
randy9700's picture

Unlike Tom, I have no words to describe my feelings about the news. It saddens me most to think of his family who gave up so much of Tom to share him with his fans particularly the young granddaughter he mentioned wanting to spend time with in an interview during the tour. I was blessed to have been at the local show in St. Paul and the 3 shows at the Hollywood Bowl and Tom and the Heartbreakers put their heart and soul into every show. I truly hope he is now among the Wildflowers and he can rest in peace knowing that he left a legacy that is befitting of the type of person and musician he was. Rest in Peace Tom. Gone but never forgotten.
emcraw's picture

I've seen you more times than I can count. I saw you when I was young, I saw you when I as pregnant, I saw you twice this past summer and so many times in between. You always gave me the best heart vibes of pure happiness. You got me through some tough times with your lyrics and you and the Traveling Wilburys welcomed our wedding party with End OF The Line, as our wedding march song. I have so many memories that your songs inspire. I am heartbroken. You've reached every era with your lyrics. Thank you for bringing us all together at your concerts. When your music is better live than recorded, you are a legend. I am a teacher and today to begin our day, my principal played the entire song Learning to Fly. I teach Middle School and we had students in tears. Deeply saddened by this, but thankful to have witnessed and shared so many of your wonderful gifts. You are timeless. "You belong somewhere you feel free."
stationarywilbury's picture

Thank you, Tom Petty. Sincere condolences to his family, friends and bandmates. I am merely a career-long fan who never actually met Tom. Nevertheless, he was privy to my moods and was, through his music, always there to make the good times even better and the sad, hard times bearable. I am in no way special in this regard. Tom Petty’s music reached out directly and touched us all in an unusually personal way. Tom possessed an uncommon, wonderful talent. Thank you for being my Highway Companion. Safe journey.
missmyra's picture

When my son was little, he always wanted me to pick him up and dance around the room whenever "All the Wrong Reasons" played on the stereo. He loved the rhythm of that song. He's 28 years old now; a musician and an artist. Sometimes, we still dance. Thank you Tom.
10936B's picture

My daughter's memories of dancing with Mommy, too. Julia is now 24 and knows the lyrics to so many of Tom's songs and sent me the sweetest message of her memories dancing in the living room to Tom when she was growing up. Thank you Tom for the memories. You are now a diamond in the sky forever. Ellen
jonchesworth's picture

Absolutely lost for words - truly devastating. Sending lots of love to the family, band, management and crew from someone who has been a big fan for 40 years.
sponson's picture

I was a 19-year-old rock and roll fan when I first saw Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in concert, in 1981. Within a year, I started my first band. Four more years and we had a recording contract. One of the greatest thrills of my career was to hear my own record being played over the same radio station, or sold in the same record store, as Petty's current work with the Heartbreakers, and doing whatever I could to pass on the same infectious fever for rock and roll music that I saw on stage in 1981. Thank you, Tom Petty and my heart goes out to his family, the band, and crew.