Tom Petty; the quiet man who rocked with the best of them

Tom Petty died earlier this week. Picture: Wiki
Tom Petty died earlier this week. Picture: Wiki

It’s a sign that you’re getting old when you notice your heroes dying more regularly.

The news this week that American rock legend Tom Petty had been the latest to pass came as a bit of a shock, as 66 isn’t all that old these days, even for a hard-living rock star.

After all, at the time of going to press, Keith Richards is still going.

There may well be those among you who have been wondering “Tom who?” since the news broke this week.

Petty was never really classed as being ‘down with the kids’ in terms of street cred, providing more of a grown-up sound which you were more likely to get into if you raided your dad’s music collection.

His lyrics often offered a slice of American life, or in some cases hammering home a simple sentiment that struck a chord with listeners.

Coming from someone who posesses a “defiant soul”, or as it’s more commonly known; being stubborn.

Won’t Back Down is definitely a song I can relate to, and has been one of my favourites for a long time.

As Petty was said to be relatively quiet offstage, it almost seems strange now that he ended up playing such an important part of the legendary supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.

Having your distinctive songwriting make it through in a room with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan would have seemed daunting to anyone else.

But shine through it did, and the evidence is there for all to hear.

But after all this, if you still think Tom Petty didn’t contribute much to music history, I challenge you to try and not sing along next time Free Fallin’ comes on the radio.