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The death of Tom Petty

Kinsey Langley, Editor

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Tom Petty, world-known singer and artist, died at age 66 on October 2nd at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, CA. He was rushed into the hospital Monday morning after he had gone into cardiac arrest. Reports say he was found unconscious and not breathing, but paramedics found a pulse and tried to revive him-sadly, he died later that day in the hospital.

Tom was born and raised in Florida and became interested in music at the young age of 10. He was a huge Elvis Presley and Beatles fan, and the Beatles actually inspired him to want to start a band. His interest in being in a band quickly increased and he dropped out of high school at 17. He found temporary work around Gainesville, FL until his band formed in 1975. Calling themselves the Mudcrutch, they released their first single “Depot Street.” They were still a local favorite, but that wasn’t enough to get them to chart. Mudcrutch eventually split up and Tom decided he wanted to have a solo career, but a former member, Benmont Tench, formed his own group. Tom and another former member, Mike Campbell, liked the sound and they decided to officially become- the Heartbreakers.

In 1976, the Heartbreakers released their debut album and their fame quickly rose in the US, and even more so in the U.K.  In 1977 they released the single “Breakdown” and soon after the tour of U.K. began. In the years to come they released hits such as “Free Fallin’,” “I won’t back down” and “You don’t know how it feels.” After 40 years with his band, the members became best friends. The Heartbreakers released three solo albums, with their most recent, Hypnotic Eye, in 2014. Decades of tours and interviews can really slow someone down. In Tom’s last interview on Sept. 27, reporters say he was frailey, skinny and had shaking hands. These could have been warning signs that his time was near.

The Heartbreakers were more than just a band, and Tom was more than just a singer. Tom Petty was a father, a husband, a best-friend, a worthy band member and to many, a heart-touching artist. His death will always be remembered, and tributes full of heartache for him will go on for years.

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The student news site of Rogers High School
The death of Tom Petty