• November 13HAPPY THANKSGIVING

  • November 13Good luck to our winter athletes

  • November 13Congratulations, cast and crew of You Can't Take it with You

Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

Hannah McCleskey, Videographer and Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.” – Tom Petty.

Thomas Earl Petty was an American singer-song writer who was born in Gainesville, FL, on Oct. 20, 1950. He grew up having a close relationship with his mother, but had a father who was physically and verbally abusive. To escape he found refuge in music. His favorite musicians were the Beatles and Elvis. By high school Petty had grown an all-consuming passion for music, and he taught himself how to play guitar and soon played bass for a small local band called the “Epics.” At the age of 17 he dropped out of high school to play in a band called “Mudcrutch,” and they easily gained a local following.

The year 1974 played a huge part in Petty’s life. He married his girlfriend (Jane Benyo), moved to Los Angeles, and got a solo contract with a record company after his former band “Mudcrutch” disbanded. After multiple attempts to put together a new band, Petty reconnected with former bandmates Mike Campbell (guitar) and Benmont Tench (keyboard). The two were playing with bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch. Shortly thereafter, they restructured Petty’s deal with Shelter and signed a contract. Then “Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers” were born.

The band created hits like “Listen to Her Heart”,  “Don’t Do Me Like That”, “Refugee”, and so many more, along with countless incredible albums. Petty was a person with enormous amounts of talent and heart. He touched the hearts of millions through his lyrics that managed to tell an amazing story each time he’d sing.

Sadly Tom Petty passed away Oct. 2, 2017, at the age of 66, due to cardiac arrest. He was taken to UCLA hospital where he peacefully died surrounded by family, friends, and bandmates. The world was shocked to hear about the loss of a legend.

I personally connected with my mom through his music, at a time when I felt like I couldn’t. This led me to other bands like Fleetwood Mac which helped me further a connection with both of my parents when I felt distant from them.

Petty said it best when referring to music as magic, “It moves, it heals, it communicates.” Thank you, Tom Petty, for your part in the magic; thank you for moving so many of us.

1 Comment

One Response to “Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend”

  1. Miranda McCleskey AKA Hannah's Momma on November 14th, 2017 2:55 pm

    That’s my kid!! I raised this kid to have some great taste in music!! Great story!!

    [Reply]

The Parnassus intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. Parnassus does not allow anonymous comments and an email address is required. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    News

    Global Innovation Exchange invites students to new experiences

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Showcase

    Seniors’ reactions towards entering “real world”

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Opinions

    A holiday debate: Christmas vs. Thanksgiving

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Showcase

    Winter sports preview

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Showcase

    Fall sports sectional review

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Showcase

    2017 Halloween Writing Contest: Winning high school entries

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Showcase

    Senior spotlight: Alayna Wickett

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Showcase

    2017 Halloween Writing Contest: Winning middle school entries

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Blurbs

    NHS request: Name this turkey

  • Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend

    Showcase

    A reflection on Homecoming week

Tom Petty: A tribute to a legend