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Rock icon Tom Petty dead at 66

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Sass Jordan recalls her rare opportunity to attend an intimate Tom Petty show

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers formed in 1975 and signed on with Shelter Records, releasing "Breakdown" and "American Girl" under the label.

"96 tears was the first song my dad taught me to play".

Petty was found to have had no brain activity and a decision was reportedly made to pull life support, according to TMZ.

Torquil Campbell, co-lead singer of Montreal band Stars, tweeted that Petty "wrote some of the most indelible, wry, universal, addictive songs ever".

Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench told Rolling Stone "when we get together we tend to do a lot of Chicago-style blues songs".

"We have real, deep-rooted music", Blair said. All of a sudden, I started thinking Tom Petty was kind of incredible. Nobody made me feel more while listening to his music over the past three decades than Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. You couldn't have left more dreams here for us. Something to listen to in the auto on the way to wherever I was going next.

And he was a member of the Traveling Wilburys, the one dubbed "Muddy Wilbury" and "Charlie T. Wilbury Jr." - part of a true supergroup with rock legends Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne. Or, do what we're doing and put on the full album of Full Moon Fever in the background of whatever it is you have to do today. "I'm sure going to miss you Tom".

One of Petty's favorite cannabis-related pastimes was to learn about history. In an interview with Billboard, Petty shared how writing "Free Fallin'" first started as a joke to amuse one of his bandmates but quickly shaped into a song that they wanted to record immediately. The 66-year-old Florida native received several awards for his work including a Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999 and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Petty once said, "I'd like to see us break some new ground and leave some sort of mark on the music". Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley covered Tom's "Southern Accents" on his solo album, The Driver, duetting with Tom's friend Stevie Nicks on the track. A 1993 collection of "Greatest Hits", including the single "Mary Jane's Last Dance", stayed on the Billboard album chart for six years. "I don't say that I can fly, I'm learning".

The 13th and final album released by the band was on July 29, 2014. (Roger McGuinn and The Byrds were clearly an influence.) Petty checks off all of those boxes with memorable lyrics and songs immediately recognizable within the first couple of notes. The musician's career sprouts from a reputable mentorship under Eagles guitarist Don Felder.

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