Into the great wide open: Remembering Tom Petty

Iconic rocker Tom Petty, known for such hits as ‘Free Fallin” and ‘Refugee’ has died after suffering cardiac arrest in his Malibu, California home. Lisa Bernhard reports.

(Reuters) – The music world mourning the loss of iconic singer-songwriter Tom Petty.

The shaggy-haired rocker and prolific hit-maker dying after being taken off life support at a Los Angeles hospital.

Petty was found unconscious and not breathing at his Malibu home Sunday night after suffering cardiac arrest.

Petty’s earthy, everyman voice and chiming guitars popular for some four decades….

Early hits with band the Heartbreakers include ‘Breakdown’ and ‘American Girl,’ followed radio staples ‘Refugee’ and ‘Don’t Do Me Like That.’

SOUND BITE, DIRECTOR PETER BOGDONOVITCH: ‘He’s the epitome of cool. When you say, ‘What does the word cool mean,’ there’s a picture of Tom in the dictionary.’

Petty’s laid-back style and cool façade also weaving seamlessly with a number of other legendary performers… collaborating with Stevie Nicks on the smash hit ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ and forming the Traveling Wilburys super group with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

Petty also flying solo, producing arguably his most famous hit with ‘Free Fallin,’ and continuing to sing of outcasts and love on follow-up hits ‘Wildflowers’ and ‘You Don’t Know How it Feels.’

Petty and the Heartbreakers had just concluded an extensive 40th anniversary tour last Monday… the singer telling Rolling Stone magazine it would likely be his last big stretch on the road, saying, ‘I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can.’

Tom Petty was 66.