Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ithaca chapter.

Shock waves were felt by both young and old, when news spread that singer-songwriter Tom Petty had passed away. Luckily, his legacy and peoples’ memories of him will never fade.

Those close to him thought not only were he and his songs inspirational, but they also thought that he was a great friend, full of light and a great performer. His loved ones thought that he was a very talented musician, a good husband and a good father as well.

Petty’s interest in music, particularly in the genre of rock and roll peaked at age the of 10 when he met Elvis Presley on the set of his film Follow that Dream. He would continue to be enamored with Elvis, becoming quite the fan. He traded his Wham-O slingshot for a collection of 45s. Elvis, wasn’t the only one who influenced his career in the industry; the Beatles did, too. He saw something in the Beatles that he knew he could as well. At 17, he dropped out of high school to play bass with his band. He would take guitar lessons and finally become a success himself in the 1970’s.

He became a success with band mates that would stick with him to the end of his life. Alone and with the heartbreakers, he would perform over 50 songs, all of which were unique for his southern twang and would mix with that gorgeous sounding rock-and-roll. His most famous songs include “Free Falling” and “Won’t back down.”

He was truly a joy to listen. He will be missed.