As I began this writing I was still holding out hope. The perversion of media has gotten to such a fevered pitch I could still find reputable websites telling me the guy behind "Refugee" and "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Don't Come Around Here No More" and "Free Fallin'" and so, so, so many others was found unconscious but was (still) on life support. Still, other, arguably "more" (?) reputable sites were reporting he had passed at 66.
By the time I did one final pass on this, readying it for post, it seems as if a horrible day managed to get even worse, as it appears to have been confirmed that Petty is gone.
Somewhere around here - just recently, in fact - is a blog I did wherein I tried to list his ten best songs. Can you imagine? It's either here, on the WELI website, or I bumped it down to my own personal Facebook page. Fact is, it was impossible to do. I kept editing and re-editing. Music lovers were reminding me of songs I'd forgotten about, chastising me about ones I included, and on and on. There are just too many songs, too many great songs, too many hit songs to ever try to do such a silly thing as list the best of the considerable lot.
You should definitely be able to find a blog post on here where he jammed with the late Prince, as they acknowledged the passing of George Harrison, and Prince stole the show with his solo during "While My Guitar gently Weeps." (Petty and Harrison, aside from being lifelong friends, were also Traveling Wilbury's.)
Tom Petty's music was a huge part of my childhood, and my life as a whole. I have the 45 of an under-rated single of his, "Change of Heart," on red vinyl that I cherish. "Don't Come Around Here No More," with Dave Stewart joining in the fun, pretty much single-handedly got me through one of the worst years of my life, 1986. And "Free Fallin,'"later used to great effect in the Tom Cruise film "Jerry Maguire," became a go-to anthem every time I felt I was in a similar predicament as Cruise's self-righteous yet self-conscious agent. And "Even The Losers?" I felt like that should be played every time I entered a room between 1997-2001.
But I leave you with this one. And he leaves us with music that will never, and shouldn't ever, go anywhere. His catalogue is proof he gave us "The Best of Everything. #RIP