TOM PETTY PASSES AWAY AS THE FAMILY PULLS LIFE SUPPORT MINUTES AGO

Nolan Apostle
Contributing Editor
Event City Premier Magazine

BREAKING NEWS! Unfortunately with heavy heart, just a few minutes ago the news came in, about 9pm PST, that Tom Petty passed away!!

Watch for a future reports and stories about Tom Petty and his illustrious career!

Rest in Peace our Prince of Rock’n’Roll!!

Such a horrible day today, Monday October 2nd, 2017. First the Las Vegas tragedy where over 50 people died in the worst massacre in US History. Then then Tom Petty was found by his wife Dana York unconscious in their home. He had a massive heart attack. Even though reports came in from media all over the world, many of them “major media outlets” that Tom Petty died, he wasn’t dead yet, he was on life support and still alive. Confusing, but so very sad for many of us. The journalist in me wants him to live far beyond his current 66 years, but understanding that his brain had lost oxygen for a while, much more than the 4-6 minutes that the medical professionals tell us we have to survive the outlook for Tom didn’t look good.

As a professional photographer in the Music and Entertainment industry, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was the first Musician/Band I photographed during my career as a Professional Photographer (you know, when you get a gig where you actually get paid). That was an experience that I will never forget and will live in my heart forever. The Tom Petty that we all got to know through his magnificent music and songwriting expertise will live on forever. Do you have a Tom Petty Story you’d like to share? Please share it with us at on our Facebook Group Site.

Word came in a short while ago, around 9pm, that Tom passed away. The official announcement was read by this career long manager and very close friend, Tony Dimitriades, “On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty. He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”

I first met Tom Petty in Palo Alto on June 3, 1978, at the Stanford Memorial Auditorium. I was told to come to the backstage entrance of the venue. While walking towards the back of the building who comes walking around the corner, Tom Petty and his guitarist Mike Campbell (one of the best guitarist in Rock’n’Roll), and they were indulging in a nice doobie! I introduced myself as the photographer and said I was here to see Tony D (his manager). He pointed to the door and then offered me a hit. I responded – “I’m a lightweight, and if you want good photos from this show you don’t want me to have any of that.” We all laughed, I went in, met his manager, photographed the show and was amazed even as a young teenager how their music was so timely and timeless. I thought to myself, even when I become an old guy I’m gonna love the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!! Here I am an old guy, and God do I love TP & his Heartbreakers. My heart breaks for him, his wife Dana, his family, of course his band (which was still almost the same lineup since his first album released in Nov 1976), manager Tony Dimitriades (probably the longest running band manager in the history of Rock’n’Roll – 40 years), and of course all of his fans!

One of my favorite all time photos came from that show. First time I ever used my Star Lens filter (these were big in the 80’s). Tom was somewhat of a mentor in the few conversations we had, he was philosophical, funny, courageous, humble and one of the nicest people I ever met, from any walk of life. His career as a band leader grew to more of a Father figure than anything, and watched over his “family” intently. The lasting togetherness of his bandmates, his manager and his life overall stemmed from that positive family attitude he had with all of those important to him in his life.

I don’t have a lot of those “Music Biz” Tom Petty stories, but the few I do, are precious and always showed me the gentle man he was, and how he is now busy elsewhere creating music at the big concert in the sky, knowing we will remember him forever more as our Prince of Rock’n’Roll. Rest in Peace Tom, our hearts are broken, and you’ll be missed, but always remembered as one of the greatest Musicians, Songwriters and Rock’n’Roll performers of all time!! (Other photos include Mike Campbell and original drummer Stan Lynch)

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