To say that I was shocked when I heard the news of the passing of Tom Petty, would not be accurate.
After all, he was a rock and roller in his late 60s, who I am guessing led a life of excess during his younger years on the road with the band. While I am unsure of any other vices, I understood that while he drastically cut down on his cigarette consumption, he remained a smoker. Even a clean living individual would see a toll from so many years on the road.
To say that I am saddened, would also not be entirely accurate. Maybe I am not the most compassionate person, but I have difficulty feeling a great deal of sorrow for those with whom I have no personal connection.
But, this celebrity/musician death probably hit home more than any other to this point in my life.
Perhaps it is because even though he was over a decade older than I, was the one musician who has left us that I most identified with.
Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, John Lennon and many others surely left a hole—but for a previous generation. I grew up with Tom Petty.
Like most, late junior high (know known as middle school) through college were my salad days as far as consuming and listening to music. And, right at the forefront for that time, and beyond, was Tom Petty.
Now there is a hole.
Sure, he did not have the same voice as 20-years ago. Nor was he a prolific writer of new material any longer. The tour that he just had completed, was said to be his last anyway.
But, still, there is now a hole, that nobody will fill.
There will obviously be new musicians to come along and take his place—for somebody, for a younger generation. But, for those around my age, there will not.
His death means another part of our youth is now gone. It is another sign that we ourselves are getting closer to the inevitable end, that change is constant.
And, for that, I am saddened.