RIP Tom Petty

Veteran U.S. rocker Tom Petty, whose vibrant guitar riffs, distinctly raw, nasal vocals and slick song lyrics graced such hits as “Refugee,” “Free Fallin’” and “American Girl,” has died following a heart attack. He was 66. Petty suffered cardiac arrest and was found unconscious at his home in Malibu early on Monday morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived, his long-time manager Tony Dimitriades said in a statement. He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. local time (0340 GMT Tuesday) surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends. Bob Dylan called his death “shocking, crushing news” in a statement to Rolling Stone magazine.

Petty, best known for his roots-infused rock music, carved a career as a solo artist as well as with his band The Heartbreakers and as part of supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. Petty and The Heartbreakers embarked on a 40th anniversary tour of the United States this year and last played three dates in late September at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The band was scheduled to perform two dates in New York in November. Petty formed The Heartbreakers in the mid 1970s, but it wasn’t until the band’s third album “Damn the Torpedoes” in 1979 that their music really took off, with hits such as “Refugee” and “Don’t Do Me Like That.” He and the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, when they were described by organizers as “the quintessential American individualists”, capturing the voice of the American everyman.

“Music, as far as I have seen in the world so far, is the only real magic that I know,” Petty once said during an interview with CNN. “There is something really honest and clean and pure and it touches you in your heart.” Petty also co-founded the 1980s supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne, penning hits such as “End of the Line” and “She’s My Baby.” Petty dropped out of high school when he was 17 and joined Mudcrutch, a band with which he moved to Los Angeles in 1970. The band broke up and Petty drifted from band to band before joining back up with his bandmates from Mudcrutch in 1975. The group became Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1976, according to

The band, which recorded 16 albums, culled “the best parts of the British Invasion, American garage rock, and Dylanesque singer/songwriters to create a distinctively American hybrid that recalled the past without being indebted to it,” the site said. A 2015 biography of the singer, “Petty: The Biography,” revealed for the first time the rocker’s heroin addiction in the 1990s. Petty married Jane Benyo in 1974, and the two divorced in 1996. Benyo disclosed to Stevie Nicks that she met Petty at “the age of seventeen.” Nicks misheard Benyo, leading to Nicks’ song “Edge of Seventeen”. Petty and Benyo had two daughters; Adria is a director and AnnaKim is an artist.[64] Petty married Dana York Epperson on June 3, 2001, and he had a stepson, Dylan, from York’s earlier marriage.

Summer Of 1992

What did you do the summer after high school?

Let me first say, like I have said before, that until about 15 years ago we had a lot of schools in India that finished high school at the 10th grade (so age 15 or 16 for some) and you did your 11th & 12th, called pre-degree, in a college before you went for a degree. In the central syllabus schools they did 11th & 12th in a school itself. Later that model would be adopted across the nation. So my summer after high school was a full 3 months (maybe a little more) in the year 1992 after my 10th grade.

After saying bye to my friends, I wanted to stay in at home or go out with my cousins. But I started missing my buddies really badly in a few days. I joined a 2 month basic computer course in DataPro. I was restless and needed something to keep me occupied and make new friends as well. Besides it was only a couple of hours a day, 4 days a week. So this 2 month course at DataPro seemed like a good option and I had fun there. I got fascinated by computers as well and during my lab hours I would try to make colourful images on MsPaint. Remember that this was back in the Windows 3.x years. I even remember on seeing my designs, a manager of the institute asked me to try designing for sarees!

I remember these two very gorgeous girls who were in my classes at Datapro. Their names were Zeena and Geena D’Couto and they were fraternal twins. And my eye was on Zeena but Geena was hot too. I spent much time with them and in the afternoons I would go to the record store nearby and go through the various album releases and check out some of the music at the store. Ofcourse I also went to various places visiting relatives. Those were good times.

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR JUNE from The SitsGirls