Tom Petty had a lasting impact on life

Rest in peace, Tom Petty


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ last two tours missed Saratoga Springs, but my most vivid memory comes from SPAC. We had thought our seats were not so great, all the way to the right, yet near the stage.

We arrived early and were looking to the side, at a big trailer. Amid big guys going back and forth, a slightly built man was pacing. He was neatly dressed, wearing tan jeans and a brown corduroy jacket, with thick black glasses and a bandana on his head. He was smoking. After a bit, he flicked the cigarette to the ground, turned to open the trailer door, and pulled off the bandana, revealing a flash of white-blond hair.

A few minutes later, he emerged. In his glittering red Mad Hatter suit and hat, he regally ascended the few stairs to the stage as the smoke billowed and lights flashed. Off to the left, the caterpillar played the first lick on the sitar as the audience rose as one, fists in the air, and screamed the first “Hey.” And then Tom Petty, now center stage, slowly looked up and sang that unforgettable double negative (first said by Stevie Nicks to Dave Mason while wearing Victorian gear and resembling Alice), “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”

Tom Petty’s music was the backdrop to our daughter’s childhood. On Oct. 2, I was emailing with my best friend until 11:30 p.m., trying to delay tomorrow, when we signed off sadly, knowing what the morning would bring. Ten minutes later, Tom Petty passed. Fly, Tom.

Ricki Lewis


Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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