TOM PETTY was put on life support yesterday after suffering cardiac arrest, and he didn’t make it. His family announced late last night that he’d died at 8:40 P.M. Pacific Time, at the age of 66.
Tom’s manager put out a statement on behalf of the family, and that ended a few hours of confusion after someone at the LAPD apparently “confirmed” Tom’s death prematurely to CBS News several hours BEFORE he was actually dead.
Naturally, a lot of publications ran early stories saying that he’d died, including “Rolling Stone”, and Tom’s daughter went after them on social media for it.
There were other conflicting reports. The “Hollywood Reporter” said the authorities were called at 10:52 A.M. yesterday when Tom was found in his Malibu home in full cardiac arrest, and not breathing. Emergency responders WERE able to get a pulse . . . but he was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
But TMZ has a 911 call that they say Tom’s wife Dana York made at 10:45 P.M. Sunday night. Dana tried to do CPR . . . and might have got him to start breathing lightly.
Ultimately, he was taken to the hospital and put on life support, but there was no brain activity. A chaplain came to administer last rights and the machines were turned off.
Apparently, no one saw this coming.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers just finished their 53-date, 40th anniversary tour last Monday night.
Tom released 13 albums with the Heartbreakers. The most recent one is “Hypnotic Eye”, which came out in 2014. He also put out three solo albums, two with Mudcrutch, and he was also in the Traveling Wilburys . . . a super-group with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Bob Dylan.
Tom was nominated for 18 Grammys, and won three.
His biggest singles include: “Don’t Do Me Like That”, “Refugee”, “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, “I Won’t Back Down”, “Free Fallin'”, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, “Waiting to Fly”, “American Girl”, “Breakdown”, and “Listen to Her Heart”.
In 2001, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played “I Won’t Back Down” at the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” benefit concert for victims of the 9/11 attacks. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Last year, Tom told “Rolling Stone” that this past tour would be their last.
He joked, quote, “I need something to do, or I tend to be a nuisance around the house . . . [but] we’re all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road.”
Tom had two daughters with his first wife Jane Benyo. They divorced in 1996, and he married Dana York in 2001. She has a son from a previous marriage.