It was already a terrible day. Then came the news (retracted, then later sadly confirmed by The New York Times and the BBC) that Tom Petty has passed away at the age of 66. The cause, apparently a heart attack. This summer, I traveled to Philadelphia to see my first Tom Petty show, knowing it might be, as he said, his “last trip around the country,” the final big tour. And I’m so glad I did. What more could I say? It was a wonderful show, a magical two-hour singalong, which ended with “American Girl,” one of my favorites.
Above, you can see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play their last song together–again “American Girl”–at their final gig at the Hollywood Bowl. This video was recorded just last week.
If you’ve never given their music a serious listen, just click play on the playlist below. It might be one of the best wall-to-wall hours in music.
And if you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!