As the definitive biography of American-bred rocker Tom Petty, this book examines his extensive music career, his personal life and his many public battles. After a momentary but pivotal encounter with Elvis Presley at age 10, Tom Petty felt destined to pursue a career in rock and roll. Raised on a steady diet of Elvis and the Beatles, Petty left the safe confines of Gainesville in 1974 and headed for Los Angeles. Although Petty fared poorly with his early group Mudcrutch, he later formed the Heartbreakers. But with his career taking various twists and turns, Petty also thrived as a solo artist, a cofounder of the rock supergroup the Traveling Wilburys and a member of the reformed Mudcrutch. Along the way, Petty was forced to battle his own record company in court, nearly lost his life in a house fire, spent two years as a recluse after a painful divorce and became best friends with a former Beatle, George Harrison. As a prolific singer and songwriter, Tom Petty has remained at the top of his game for four decades with timeless rock anthems such as "Breakdown," "Refugee" and "I Won't Back Down."
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The Authorized Unauthorized Tom Petty Chronicle
The untimely passing of Tom Petty in October 2017 hit me like a kangaroo kick to my heart. I'd grown up on Springsteen but the soundtrack to many fits and starts towards maturity was scored by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Only I didn't know or appreciate what his music meant to my life until he was gone. I bought every bit of music I could get my hands on, and then while surfing Netflix I came across the Peter Bogdanovich documentary on TP.
In it, Petty talked about interviewing the author for the 'Authorized Unauthorized' biography, saying that it had to be what the author wrote, and not what Petty wanted him to write.
It's colorful, informative and comprehensive, and paints a respectful portrait of a Man who never compromised his craft or his soul in the pursuit of writing and playing his music for the world to hear. Through good times and bad Petty was a gifted artist and a grinder, living his life so that ours could enriched by his presence.