Watch Tom Petty’s Final Performance: 1950 – 2017

Tom Petty at his final performance at the Hollywood Bowl, photo by Paul Zollo

Much of the East Coast went to bed last night with an unsettled sense of confusion after erroneous and retracted reports that Tom Petty, America’s most prolific figure in pop rock n’ roll, had died. Petty was found in his Malibu home in full cardiac arrest and was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center. This is when the confusion began as TMZ and CBS set off a myriad of premature reports that Petty had passed away triggering tributes from friends, family and fans across the world. In actuality, Petty had been removed from life support, and as the reports were quickly revised to state he was “clinging to life”, the thoughts, prayers and well-wishes continued to flush in.

Petty’s daughter, artist Annakim Violette, took to instagram to provide a connection to Petty’s fans and friends during her father’s final hours. Annakim Violette even blasted Rolling Stone magazine over the premature reports of his passing in a scathing instagram post. After repeated tribute posts and updates throughout the evening, Annakim finally confirmed that Petty had breathed his last breath with a simple “RIP” post. This was followed by an official statement from Tom Petty’s longtime manager Tony Dimitriades.

Tom Petty enjoyed perhaps one of the longest tenures as a staple of global pop rock radio. Not many other artists can say they enjoyed the stretching presence and relevance achieved by Petty’s music, with almost 30 years of his career peppered with charting singles. To this day, you would be hard pressed to turn on a rock radio station for more than a few hours and not hear a Tom Petty song.

Tom Petty wrote and performed as a solo artist, as the leader of The Heartbreakers, a member of Mudcrutch, and an integral part of the short-lived supergroup The Traveling Willburys. Petty was also a producer who, besides from his own albums, famously worked with Stevie Nicks on her debut solo album in 1981.

Tom Petty marked the 40th anniversary of his and the Heartbreaker’s eponymous album by embarking on a long-haul 7 month tour in 2017. Petty had told Rolling Stone back in December that this tour might be his “last big one”.

Petty and his Heartbreaker’s wrapped up the lengthy roadshow with one final performance at the Hollywood Bowl on September 25th, just a week before his death.

Audience members who captured Petty’s final encore on their cellphones may not have known just how important the moment would be. Thanks to them, you can now watch the final moment’s of Petty’s last encore of his last show of his last tour.

After telling the audience “we love you dearly, and we would like to thank you for 40 years of a really great time”, Petty ends the set with a blazing rendition of one of his earliest singles, “American Girl”.

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