One of Tom Petty’s last appearances was at the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 21, 2017. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

One of Tom Petty’s last appearances was at the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 21, 2017. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Rock giant Tom Petty dies at 66

Everyone is thinking fondly of rock great Tom Petty, who died Monday evening, his manager confirmed. Petty was rushed to the hospital Sunday from his Malibu home in cardiac arrest. He was 66.

TMZ first reported the emergency — including posting video of a 911 call made by Petty’s wife Dana York, who said he wasn’t breathing — which was picked up by news outlets that erroneously reported Petty died. Soon after, the Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement saying “initial information was inadvertently provided to some media sources.”

Meanwhile, social media went wild, with friends including John Mayer, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Stephen King and Billy Idol among those expressing sorrow.

On Monday afternoon, TMZ said Petty, 66, registered no brain activity, life support had been pulled and a chaplain had been called.

Meanwhile, an Instagram account called @dadlivesmatteronelove, attributed to Petty’s daughter Annakim Violette, attacked Rolling Stone for pronouncing Petty dead without confirmation.

While the publication may have been premature, its eulogy captures spirit of the rocker, who came to fame with his band The Heartbreakers and had solo success with hits including “I Won’t Back Down” and “Free Fallin’.”

Petty, who dropped out of high school at 17, first formed the band Mudcrutch in Gainesville, Fla., and truly broke into the scene at 26 with Heartbreakers’ hits “Breakdown” and “American Girl,” which became staples of rock radio. In the early 1980s, he hit with “The Waiting” and “You Got Lucky.”

Following a stint in the Traveling Wilburys (with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne), Petty began a solo career, which spawned singles like “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, Petty’s last concert was Sept. 25 at the Hollywood Bowl, the final of three sold-out shows commemorating The Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary on a 53-date tour.

The rocker, who married his second wife York in 2001, credited her with helping him get clean. He was married to Jane Benyo from 1974 to 1996; his older daughter Adria Petty is a filmmaker.

RIP DJ STEF

Friends and fans on social media including rhettmatic and Lyrics Born are remembering the Bay Area’s Stephanie Ornelas (aka DJ Stef) who died at 55 on Sunday of an apparent heart attack. The veteran of the local hip-hop scene also was a writer, designer and founder of Vinyl Exchange, a newsletter about record collecting.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actress Alicia Vikander is 29. … S.F. 49er Kyle Nelson is 31. … Rapper Talib Kweli is 42. … Singer India.Arie is 42. … Actress Lena Headey is 44. … Singer Gwen Stefani is 48. … Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac is 68. .. Magician Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy is 73. … Singer Chubby Checker is 76.

— Staff, wire report
cardiac arrestDJ StefStephanie OrnelasTom Petty

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Shek-Woon Ng, 107, who retired at 99 from his acupuncture practice in San Francisco’s Chinatown, got a COVID-19 vaccination in June. <ins>(Courtesy Sky Link TV)</ins>
Lesson from a 107-year-old man who is now fully vaccinated

One in four seniors in S.F.’s Chinatown have not been inoculated

Most Read