Coldplay’s concert in Portland, Oregon Monday night included two touching tributes, one to the 59 lives lost in the shooting in Las Vegas and then another to the late, iconic rocker Tom Petty. Coldplay was playing the Moda Center last night as part of its Heart Full of Dreams tour. The band began with a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting, and later in the show, R.E.M. co-founder and guitarist Peter Buck joined them onstage for an emotional tribute to Petty. They played his 1989 track “Free Fallin.’”
The rock word is facing yet another painful blow with the sudden death of the legendary Tom Petty at age 66. Petty died last night (October 2nd) at UCLA Medical Center, one day after suffering cardiac arrest at his home. Before the official announcement last night, fans had spent the better part of yesterday on tenterhooks as word was incorrectly leaked by law enforcement earlier in the day that Petty had died of a heart attack -- before it was retracted and announced that he was alive, yet unconscious and pulled off life support. Petty wrapped his 40th anniversary tour with the Heartbreakers on September 25th at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl. According to TMZ: "(Petty's wife) Dana York seemed confused and upset when she dialed 911 Sunday night (October 1st) at around 10:45 PM. The dispatcher tried to get her to administer CPR, but Dana needed help. You hear another man take the phone but then Dana takes it back. She hears very soft breathing, tries CPR and it seems he breathes better. . . Tom was in full cardiac arrest and unconscious. He was taken to the hospital and put on life support but there was no brain activity. A chaplain came to administer last rights and he was taken off of life support."
The site posted that Petty was taken off life support and at "10:30 Monday morning, a chaplain was called to Tom’s hospital room. We’re told the family has a do not resuscitate order on Tom. The singer is not expected to live throughout the day, but he’s still clinging to life. A report that the LAPD confirmed the singer’s death is inaccurate -- the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. handled the emergency."
Petty's friend and collaborator, Bob Dylan issued a statement to Rolling Stone, saying: "It’s shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him."
Brian Wilson posted: "I’m heartbroken to hear about Tom Petty passing. He was just too young and still in his prime. Tom was a hell of a songwriter and record-maker and he will be missed by everyone who loves music. I’m so sad to hear about this. Love & Mercy to Tom’s friends, family and fans."
Tom Petty was born on October 20th, 1950, in Gainesville, Florida. One of his first guitar teachers was future Eagle Don Felder. His band Mudcrutch featured Tom Leadon, they younger brother of Eagles co-founder Bernie Leadon. Petty is survived by his second wife Dana York, two adult daughters, Adria and AnnaKim, along with a stepson Dylan.
After splitting with his early band Mudcrutch and forming the Heartbreakers with drummer Stan Lynch and Ron Blair along with Mudcrutch holdovers -- guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench -- Petty's songs, often written with Campbell, have been a part of the American lexicon upon release -- including such instant classics as "The Waiting," "American Girl," "Don't Do Me Like That," "Refugee," "Breakdown," "Listen To Her Heart," "Here Comes My Girl," "You Got Lucky," "A Woman In Love," "Love Is A Long Road," "Walls," "It's Good To Be King," "You Wreck Me," "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," "Don't Come Around Here No More," "I Won't Back Down," "A Face In The Crowd," "You Don't Know How It Feels," "Jammin' Me," "Into The Great White Open," "Mary Jane's Last Dance," "Yer So Bad," "Runnin' Down A Dream," "Learning To Fly," "Wildflowers," and many more.
In 1988 he teamed up with ELO's Jeff Lynne along with idols George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison to form the Traveling Wilburys, releasing two albums in 1988 and 1990. In 2008 he reformed Mudcrutch, releasing the band's self-titled album with a followup in 2016.
Tom Petty was honored on February 10th with the 2017 MusiCares Person of The Year in Los Angeles. Petty touched upon his early days in the speech -- including his first meeting of future friends George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Petty recalled: "I got into town in 1974 and I was signed by Denny Cordell to Leon Russell’s Shelter Records. Leon brought me over to his house. He liked the songs I’d done. He said, ‘If it comes to a thing where we need some words I need you to be here, and I’ll pay you for it.' The first session, in comes George Harrison, Ringo and (drummer) Jim Keltner, and they didn’t need any words because those cats are so cool."
- Petty went on to say: "We were hanging out and I found myself slipping my sunglasses on. Leon said, ‘What the hell you doing with dark glasses, man?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, it feels cool. Like Jimmy Keltner, he has his.' He said, 'Wearing sunglasses at night is an honor you earn. Lou Adler had Johnny Rivers and the Mamas & The Papas before he put them glasses on. Jack Nicholson made really s**** Boris Karloff movies before he put the glasses on.’ Well, I’m putting my glasses on but I thank Leon for that advice."
Our iHeartRadio Vinyl Classic Rock Station is playing all of Tom's songs right now!