Alec Reviews Music: Reflecting on Tom Petty’s death

Alec Erickson

Some of Tom Petty ‘s most famous lyrics say, “Well, I don’t know, but I’ve been told. You never slow down, you never grow old.”

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While these lyrics may have been about drugs, they prove how full of life he was. Petty was a musician that helped shape and form countless individuals. With a career spanning more than three decades, it would take hours to really dive into his extensive discography, let alone all the hits that charted. Petty was certainly something we will never see the likes of again.


From dropping out of high school and starting his first band Mudcrutch to later forming supergroups like The Traveling Wilburys, Petty always had a natural talent for making some classic rock and roll. He spent years leading The Heartbreakers to massive success in the late 70s and onward. The 66-year-old Florida native received several awards for his work including a Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999 and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. He released three solo albums, 13 with The Heartbreakers, two with The Traveling Wilburys and two with Mudcrutch.

Petty’s list of hits range anywhere from “Breakdown” and “Refugee” to songs like “Free Falling” and “Learning to Fly.” His catalog is as extensive, wide and diverse as they come. Millions have grown up on his music, and you can trace the inspiration he left on countless bands throughout the years.

Thank you Tom Petty for your music, for your generosity and for the lasting impact you will leave on this world.

Collegian reporter Alec Erickson can be reached at or on Twitter @CTV_Ace.