These Tom Petty Quotes Will Remind You Of How Powerful The Musician's Words Truly Were
Update: Late Monday night, manager Tony Dimitriades confirmed that singer Tom Petty "died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, bandmates and friends." He said that Petty could not be revived after going into cardiac arrest in his Malibu home.
Update: At 4:55 p.m. on Oct. 2, the LAPD tweeted that they had "no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty.. Initial information was inadvertantly [sic] provided to some media sources. However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting." Bustle had reached out to Petty's reps and the LAPD for confirmation, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Update: Tom Petty is reportedly alive and fighting for his life at a Los Angeles hospital. A report from TMZ states that the singer has a do not resuscitate order and the odds of recovery are slim.
Earlier: Tom Petty was a rockstar through and through, and news of his death is currently sending shockwaves around the world. As these iconic Tom Petty lyrics show, however, his legacy and influence on the world will last for many years to come. Petty was born on Oct. 20, 1950, and at just 17 years old he dropped out of high school to play rock and roll with his band, Mudcrutch, as Billboard recounts. That band then became Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which produced exemplar songs like "Breakdown" and "American Girl" in 1976. Then, in 1989, he released his solo debut, leading to a career of incredible tunes.
In each of his various bands and their phases, Petty made sure to stay true to who he was. In an interview with Rolling Stone in the '70s, he declared that he ardently considered his music "rock and roll" despite other bands inventing new musical styles. "We ain't no punk band, we ain't folk rock, jazz rock, or any of that bullsh*t. Just rock, and we don't put no other name on it than that. We'd be stupid if we did," Petty proclaimed. His staunch attitude about being a no-frills rock musician is reflected in his many lyrics, which frequently glorify the simple pleasures of life and urge people to enjoy the ride — both good and bad.
"Take what you can, all you can carry. Take what you can and leave the past behind"
These lyrics from Petty's song, "All You Can Carry," which are repeated, remind everyone to focus on the present and do the best they can.
"I got just one life in a world that keeps on pushin' me around. But I stand my ground and I won't back down"
These lyrics are from one of Petty's most popular songs, "I Won't Back Down," and it's the perfect anthem to remind people to be themselves and stay true to their values regardless of what the world demands of them.
"I'm learning to fly around the clouds but what goes up must come down. I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings, coming down is the hardest thing"
"Learning to Fly" by Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers is a beautiful song about how life is all about the highs and lows, and that one can't just avoid the difficult parts if they want to also have the positives.
"You will never be told when the next bit of education is coming or where it's coming from or who the teacher will be. That information will only reveal itself after the fact. All that you can do is leave a little room there for the next lesson to come through. Someone will be carrying it. You just leave the door open a crack."
In Petty's memoir, Runnin' Down a Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, he imparts this great wisdom about life's unpredictability and how everyone should remain open to learning new lessons from unexpected sources. That openness to learning is great, meaningful advice.
"She couldn't help thinkin' that there was a little more to life somewhere else. After all it was a great big world with lots of places to run to"
These lyrics are classic-rock staples, as they're the opening words to the song, "American Girl." With these words, Petty effortlessly captures the spirit of adventure as he encourages everyone to live their lives to the fullest.
"What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing but under my feet, baby, grass is growing"
These lyrics from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Time To Move On" is the perfect reminder to live in the moment and focus on the beauty of what's at present.
"The only good thing about getting older is you get smart enough to avoid unnecessary problems. You know what’s worth spending time on and what’s not. If I had known that at 20, life would have been so much easier, but you have to experience all these things so you figure out how to find your way through the woods."
Petty said this in a Billboard interview in 2014, and it's a profound reflection on how some lessons must be learned the hard way. As his lyrics also suggest, it's best to live life in the moment and learn as you go along.
"Run away, let your heart be your guide"
In "Wildflowers," Petty sings about finding the place that you feel most free, alive, and happy. Lots of Petty's music echoes this message — that making the effort to explore and find what makes you happy is worthwhile.