Tom Petty’s last interview revealed a man with more music to offer.
Petty sat down with Randy Lewis from the Los Angeles Times and shared his thoughts on a career-culminating, albeit grueling, final tour to mark a 40 year run for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The band played 53 shows. This wasn’t supposed to be the end of his career. Petty had more to come, particularly with the Shelters, a younger band Petty was guiding.
“They’ve been on the road for a year and we got together recently,” said Petty. “They played me some of their new stuff and I was just blown away.”
Petty was also looking to continue his work with the SiriusXM channel Tom Petty radio, and the show he personally hosts, “Tom Petty’s Buried Treasure.”
“I love doing my ‘Buried Treasure’ show,” said Petty about the show where he picks all the music. “It keeps me listening like I used to do. I always listen. I could come home and I would spend the rest of the night just lying on the floor or the sofa listening to albums. It was like a movie to me. I still do really, and doing the radio show ensures that I’ll be sitting there listening.”
Petty was supposed to be using the time after the six-month tour ended to spend time with family. But despite his age, not working made Petty restless.
“I just have to learn to rest a little bit, like everyone’s telling me. I need to stop working for a period of time,” said Petty. “It’s hard for me … If I don’t have a project going, I don’t feel like I’m connected to anything. I don’t even think it’s that healthy for me. I like to get out of bed and have a purpose.”
That’s exactly the outlook he gave credit to for his youthful demeanor.
“On the back side of your 60s, most people aren’t working,” he said. “This keeps us young. I think it keeps me young.”
Petty compared himself to people he knew before, and the people he still worked with in the music industry.
“When I see people I knew from earlier in life and I run into them now, they’re very different than me,” he added. “And they look different. I think this has kept us all thinking young and feeling young.”
Petty was 66 years old when he fell down from cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California, on Oct. 2. He was sent to the hospital, but doctors were not able to fully revive him, and decided to take him off life support, People reported. The cause of death is still being investigated.