Two Months After Tom Petty’s Death, There’s Something The Heartbreakers Want You All To Know
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers / Facebook
“Love Will Certainly See Us All Through This,” Writes Benmont Tench
Tom Petty was lucky.
One of rock’s most revered figures, Petty was afforded a luxury denied to so many of us: he got to choose his family, surrounding himself with some of the finest friends and musicians to ever draw breath and over time it became clear that The Heartbreakers weren’t just bandmates, but brothers who stood shoulder to shoulder with Tom until the end of his life. Two months after Petty’s death at the age of 66 The Heartbreakers are understandably hurt, confused, raw, and at a loss as to how life is supposed to work without Tom at the center of it, but through the blinding grief that comes with losing the one person you honestly in your heart of hearts thought would live forever, there’s one thing they want you all to know: thank you.
Just before Thanksgiving, Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell quietly took to social media and Tom’s official website to leave thank you notes for fans around the world, thanking them for loving them through one of the worst times of their lives. Set against a photo of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with their backs turned to the camera and facing the crowd in front of them, Tench and Campbell’s thank you notes read as such:
“Your condolences have been a life saver for me. This has been so surprising and devastating for me and the band as I know it has been for you. It will take a long time before I get over this. I will carry on for myself and all of you who love the music. I feel your love and am forever grateful for your support all these years.
Remember, without you, all of our devoted fans, there would have been no Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom will always be here on my right shoulder urging me on to keep the dream alive and inspiring me with his spirit. He is a one of a kind and I will be eternally grateful for the years we rode together and the songs we wrote together. Bless you all from the bottom of my heart.
I’m sure I don’t need, nor do I really know how, to tell you how awful these past weeks have been. I know you all feel it too.
What I do want to tell you is how much I appreciate your kindness & support. I’ve had the opportunity to hear from & speak with many of you, both in person in Los Angeles & New York, and through social media. You have been a great source of comfort.
This band, and the extended family Tom gathered around him, is a strong & loving group of people, and we’re all very tight, and all leaning on each other. Love will certainly see us all through this.
For me, I just want to do what I’ve done since I was eighteen or nineteen years old: take what I’ve learned over these years, from Tom, about persistence, pursuit of & insistence on artistic excellence, and a certain kind of personal integrity, and continue to apply it going forward, in whatever “forward” might be. Maybe each of us, of you, can do the same.
And, of course, never forget to turn up to ten and let that sucker blast.
Peace & love to you and yours,
Bands and artists have saved our lives and helped us through the darkness so many times that it’s easy to forget that they’re human too, going through their own trials and tragedies that leave them in need of a few cheerleaders and kind words to get them to the light at the end of the tunnel. Who knows – you just might have been the thing that helped Tom’s loved ones get out of bed and find a reason to smile, if only for a moment or two.