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As I grew older, Petty became for me a classic-rock fave; I was always glad when the songs appeared, but didn’t habitually seek them out.
And that’s why it took me a long time to notice that, over the years, Petty’s alluring vocals, plugged into the beautiful, purring engine of his band, contrasted in their bright-sized vitality with what Petty was actually saying—which was pretty near the same thing that first brought me to him as a kid.
Epstein would later died of complications related to drug use.
Tom Petty, who died on Monday night at age 66, has left behind a legacy for friends and lovers, including his 'fiery, intense' chemistry with Stevie Nicks, a tortured first marriage, and the second wife he credited with saving his life.
No white man in America works his septum through a vowel as distinctively as Petty, except maybe Jack Nicholson on a very good day.
(This was, perhaps, especially the case during breakups.) And Petty could also write excellent songs in a more romantic key, such as “Wildflowers.” Yet, in the end, so many of his memorable compositions work a path beginning with pain and leading to resentment.
There was nothing to do except to say to hell with annoying Mom and the neighbors and, in my alarmingly pitched treble that sounded like a radio veering between frequencies, to sing out that ambrosial phrase right along with Petty: “Don’t do me like that.”Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have been filling the air with pop masterpieces for forty years now.
Their hits have spent so much time in cars, in grocery aisles, in offices, and on beaches, and have such aural clarity that they are instantly individuating—you can be immersed in your own business, busy with tasks, and within three bright chords you are sure to recognize “American Girl” or “Runnin’ Down a Dream” or “I Won’t Back Down.” That kind of cultural endurance is sufficiently unusual that this summer, during what Petty has said is the band’s final big tour, I have found myself circling back and wondering what it is about Petty that’s kept him so much around.
'When he left his marriage and moved into a house, by himself, things slowed just long enough that all of that past came right as he’s coming into the pain of not being able to control the well-being of his kids and not being able to control a dialogue with his ex-wife,' Zanes said.
'The classic situation of midlife pinning a person down to the mat.'He added that Petty and his other bandmates sent Epstein to rehab and were not intolerant of drugs, but they needed to keep the band together.