The year was 1976. My boyfriend at the time came home from "work" with a blue colored album that had a guy on the front with a sly grin, long blonde hair, dreamy eyes and a black leather jacket. And a heart with an arrow through it and a banner... kinda like a tattoo. We were into black leather jackets and tattoos. My boyfriend's dad was a member of an infamous biker "club." He said he got the album from one of his dad's associates who was a manager for this band called Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. This was a pre-release of their first album. The guy said this band is going to be big. My boyfriend and I agreed that all managers must say that about their new artists. We only played the album once before we realized there wasn't a bad song on the whole thing. So we did what most people did back then and used the stereo system to tape a copy of it onto 8-track so we could listen to it in the van. There were 4 other young people in the house and only one stereo. Well that 8-track didn't leave the tape player in over a year. It played every time we went somewhere in the van. I quickly learned all the lyrics to each song and before long we both agreed that this band was going to be HUGE!
Little did we know exactly how huge it would be. I only saw them in concert once, not for lack of interest but lack of time and funds. (too many concerts, not enough time.) Tom was one of the most professional people I have ever seen on stage. He was relaxed and he had total control. The band was tight, the songs were tight. I walked away that night with such a huge amount of respect for him as a performer.
Tom is one of those musicians you figured was going to go on forever. I am saddened that it didn't come to pass. I am deeply saddened and it hurts to know he is gone from this Earth.
Rest in eternal peace Mr. Petty. This world cannot thank you enough for the joy your talent and your passion brought to it.