Even Tom Petty is gone. Silently, just like you could expect from someone who never tried to pursue visibility, like many other colleagues. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers is a name that passed through forty years of rock, going beyond trends and genres: he is one of those that left a mark, and he went on until his heart was strong: it is tragically ironic (or ironically tragic) that the leader of a band called “Heartbreakers” died of a fatal heart attack.
Always balancing Dylan and southern rock, somewhere in the middle between being a singer-songwriter and a rocker, Petty died at the end of his last tour through the USA. And he leaves an empty space in contemporary music, like only the great ones do.
In 2004, for George Harrison’s entry into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, Tom Petty walked into the stage with Harrison’s son Dhani, his long time producer Jeff Lynn, Steve Winwood and Prince.
This super group performed While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with Petty singing and the Minneapolis star playing the guitar. The encounter of these two artists happened by chance on that stage, with just some short improvisation few hours before the event: Petty, aware that Prince was among the guests of the evening, wanted to involve him in the tribute to the former Beatle. When they told him that also The Purple One had the same idea and had already talked about it with the production, he couldn’t believe his ears.
That “go on, go on” shouted at a certain point by Petty to Prince, during that wonderful solo, shows how such different artists have no problem interacting with each other. Today, perhaps, they have the possibility to play together again. Maybe even together George Harrison himself.