These Tom Petty Lyrics Will Keep His Legacy Alive Forever

by Ani Bundel
Rick Diamond/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Update 2: On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Tom Petty's longtime manager confirmed that Tom Petty has died.

UPDATE: At 4:35 p.m. EST on Oct. 2, TMZ reported that Petty is “is not expected to live throughout the day, but he’s still clinging to life.” The LAPD and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department declined to comment to Elite Daily. The LAPD has since tweeted: "The LAPD has no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty. Initial information was inadvertantly [sic] provided to some media sources. However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting."

New shook the music world this afternoon that Tom Petty had been hospitalized after a heart attack in his Malibu home. Fans prayed for the best, but with word into TMZ that the 66-year-old rock legend has been removed from life support, it seemed impossible to that this could have a miracle ending. As of 3:59 this after noon, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that he had passed. But these Tom Petty iconic lyrics will make sure he lives forever.

Tom Petty is considered a classic rock artist, but his career didn't really get off the ground until the 1980s with his band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. he was also part of the short lived supergroup The Traveling Wilburys, which included such luminaries such as The Beatles George Harrison, as well as Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. Perhaps that grouping is part why most assume he came from the earlier generation of Baby Boomer artists.

In truth, Tom petty was very much a Generation X artist, and part of the classic rock generation that included such artists like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince and George Michael. During his career he sold over 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the most successful artists of all time.

And I'm A Bad Boy Cause I Don't Even Miss Her/I'm A Bad Boy For Breaking Her Heart

The very first song I ever heard by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was "Free Fallin'," a song that Petty wrote as a joke to make fellow Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne laugh. It's supposed to be a parody of the sort of folk music that was popular at the time. Instead he wound up laughing all the way to the bank with one of his biggest hits ever.

I Started Out For God Knows Where/Guess I'll Know When I Get There

The title "Learning to Fly" in the 1980s was a popular one, with Tom Petty and Pink Floyd both having a hit under that title within five years of each other. Petty's came out in 1991 and was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Rock Song that year.

I'm Running Down A Dream/That Never Would Come To Me

One of the best songs to drive with the windows down (or better yet the top down) at top speed along an open highway. One of the best easter eggs in this song is the opening lyric that references an artist that inspired Petty, Del Shannon and her 1961 hit, "Runaway."

Well, I Don't Know, But I've Been Told/You Never Slow Down, You Never Grow Old

Tom Petty's last big hit before he moved to Warner Brothers Music, this obviously-a-drug reference song about kicking addiction was only released as part of his "Greatest Hits" compilation.

Everybody's Got Somebody To Lean On/Put Your Body Next To Mine, And Dream On

The Traveling Wilburys' only major hit in the 1980s, Tom Petty might be second fiddle to some of the larger names in the group, but his lyric is actually the best one.

She Had A Guitar And She Taught Him Some Chords/The Sky Was The Limit

This video is one of Petty's most fun, starring a young Johnny Depp, who originally came to California to become a rock star before accidentally becoming a heartthrob movie star. It also stars Hollywood legend Faye Dunaway, Friends' Matt LeBlanc, fellow artists Terence Trent D'Arby and daughter of The Mamas and The Papas, Chynna Phillips.

Stop Walking Down My Street/Who Do You Expect To Meet?

Probably Petty's both famous music video ever, this Alice and Wonderland homage was an MTV staple for years, and will probably kick off their 24 hour marathon of his music, if it hasn't already.

RIP Tom Petty. We will not see his like again in our lifetime.