Legendary singer and songwriter, Tom Petty, is reportedly being taken off life support following a massive heart attack. He was discovered Sunday night in his Malibu home, unresponsive and not breathing. He was rushed to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital in critical condition and placed on life support.
His heart began to work again, but reports say he no longer has any brain activity. The decision was reportedly then made to pull life support.
His exact condition at the moment is unknown, but it is safe to say that the prognosis is extremely grim. It is evidently only a matter of time.
The 66 year-old rock legend is known to any of us who grew up in the late 70’s, 80’s, or early 90’s. He dominated the music scene as first the lead of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and then with his solo efforts. He carved out a massive following with hit after hit. His distinctive sound made his work instantly recognizable the moment it hit the radio waves. And the psychedelic, trippy music videos stood out on MTV for being bizarrely amazing. I, for one, will never forget the first time I saw the music video for “Don’t Come Around Here No More”. Watching Alice in Wonderland being turned into a cake and eaten by the Mad Hatter was quite the freaky experience growing up. That did more to keep me off drugs than any school anti-drug program ever could. (And don’t even get me started on the music video for “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”! I had SOOOO many questions for my father after watching that.)
With hits such as “I Won’t Back Down”, “Free Fallin'”, and “American Girl”, Petty sold millions of records and packed tour venues around the world. He just finished up his latest tour that honored the 40th Anniversary of the debut of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
He was also a member of the Traveling Wilburys, a late 1980’s supergroup comprised of himself, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, and Bob Dylan.
The loss of such a music icon is truly heartbreaking and feels like the death of an era in many ways. He was definitely one of a kind in an industry with countless shades of grey.