Missoula reacts to Tom Petty's passing

Local musician remembers rocker Tom Petty

Petty was the lead singer and guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as a successful solo artist, known for such rock hits as American Girl, Don't Do Me Like That, Mary Jane's Last Dance and I Won't Back Down. One week later the rock legend would be dead, after suffering cardiac arrest in the early morning of October 2. "He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends".

Petty also spent several years with the Traveling Wilburys, singing alongside music legends George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.

I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted (to) know what it felt like to fly.

The late musician had just finished the last show of his most recent tour on September 25 at the Hollywood Bowl, The Wrap reports.

We're playing in Tom Petty's memory.

TOM PETTY: I guess I did live the American dream, getting into something I loved and working really hard at it, and there were financial rewards.

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Now, many of us are left to freefall into sadness; Petty is gone at 66 after suffering from cardiac arrest.

But before the rock-and-roller hit it big, Petty auditioned for Capricorn Records as the band Mudcrutch, at Grant's Lounge in downtown Macon.

Born Oct. 20, 1950 in Gainesville, he achieved fame with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, his band that later received global success.

Unlike most of his contemporaries, Petty didn't talk about who he was or where he came from but rather gave evergreen songs that stood by you all your life.

"It's alright if you love me, it's alright if you don't..." Even though I did meet him the one time, I was happy enough to have him sign the guitar. Petty's unique voice, rebellious spirit and warm heart made him a true rock and roll hero whose influence on the music world as a songwriter, performer and philanthropist can not be underestimated.

I grew up in Dubai and would hear Tom Petty on the radio.

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