Tom Petty was born on this day in 1950

Tom Petty was one of the most successful and prolific singer-songwriters of the last 40 years

Tom Petty was born on this day in 1950

Tom Petty was born on October 20, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida. According Petty, he wanted to become a musician when he was 13 and saw The Beatles play on “The Ed Sullivan Show. “This was the great moment in my life, really, that changed everything. I had been a fan up to that point. But this was the thing that made me want to play music.” He added, “It did have a great profound effect on my life, and I thank them for that. I still think the Beatles [made] the best music ever, and I’m sure I’ll go to my grave thinking the same thing.” Petty and his band The Heartbrakers debuted their first self-titled record in 1976, they continued to perform over the past four decades. Petty played his last show last Monday, performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl to conclude their 40th anniversary tour. The band wrote on their website that the tour included 53 shows in 24 states. Throughout his solo career and  together with the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty   put out several hits, including “American Girl,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Breakdown,” “Listen to Her Heart”, “Freefallin'”, “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, “Into The Great Wide Open” and “Learning To Fly” among many others.  Tom Petty also was part of the supergroup Traveling Wilburys together with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne during the late 1980’s. Besides music, Petty was also ocasionally a outspoken political person, he was one of the many American artists that campaigned against Donald Trump policies, most notably last July at the Forest Hills Stadium in New York, while playing “American Girl”. One of the images from American women projected on stage  featured Alexis Arquette, a transgender actor who died of AIDS complications in 2016. Her appearance Petty’s two-night stand at the Forest Hills Stadium in New York happened just hours after President Donald Trump posted a tweet banning transgender citizens from serving in the military. Tom Petty passed away  on October 2nd, 2017 from a cardiac arrest. Though his passing is still very recent, Tom Petty already was regarded as one of the most influential singer-songwriters from the last 40 years, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 together with his band The Heartbreakers.

Watch the 1991 music video of “Learning To Fly” by Tom Petty

Listen to some of Tom Petty’s best songs compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify

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