When I saw Stevie Nicks last December, she talked about Tom Petty. She talked about how much she loved him as an artist, and she admitted that she wanted to leave Fleetwood Mac for the Heartbreakers in the late 70s. Then she introduced “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” and that, unfortunately, is as close as I will ever get to hearing Tom Petty in concert.
I am heartbroken over Tom Petty’s death; far more so than I would have anticipated. I would never have claimed to be a great Tom Petty fan, but his passing hurts.
Although I love his enduring hits (especially “American Girl” and “Breakdown”), it took his death to make me realize what an icon he was, and I think that’s what gets to me.
I regret not appreciating him while he was still living. And I regret not seeing him at the Hollywood Bowl a couple of weekends ago. I could have bought tickets to that show. I thought about buying them every time TicketMaster reminded me they were still available. I remember thinking: “Maybe I should. It’s Tom Petty.” But I didn’t.
Now, in honor of Tom Petty, if at any point I think, “Maybe I should. It’s [Insert Icon],” I’m going to. Because, as I’ve listened to the Tom Petty Anthology on repeat today, I’ve realized that, even if he’s not my favorite artist, I would have enjoyed the hell out of that concert, and the memory of having seen it would have been a source of joy and peace and comfort to me, now that he’s gone.
Rest in Peace, Tom Petty (1950 – 2017).