Remembering Tom Petty: The Quintessential All-American Rock Star Who Never Backed Down

 In Entertainment

Tom Petty

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Tom Petty wasn’t supposed to be done yet.

Though the 66-year-old rocker, who’d been filling arenas for the better part of 40 years, had said that his just-concluded tour with his longtime band the Heartbreakers would likely be their last, he wasn’t planning on packing it in.

“It’s very likely we’ll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don’t think so,” Petty told Rolling Stone last December. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one. We’re all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”

“I’ve been hearing that for 15 years,” guitarist Mike Campbell told the magazine while on the road in June. “We’ll see.”

At least it’s fitting that, just eight days ago, their tour wrapped up at the Hollywood Bowl, a cultural landmark in the city that the Florida-born Petty adopted and turned into his own personal heartland, settling by the ocean in Malibu and fronting one of the quintessential Los Angeles bands.

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