"Coldplay's Cover of Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin'" Is the Perfect Tribute

Former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck joined Coldplay onstage in Portland, Oregon on Monday night to pay homage to Tom Petty with a cover of "Free Fallin.'" Petty died on Monday at age 66. (Roger McGuinn and The Byrds were clearly an influence.) Petty checks off all of those boxes with memorable lyrics and songs immediately recognizable within the first couple of notes. Buck outlined the song's crystalline melody with ringing riffs, and drummer Will Champion propelled the track forward with a firm backbeat, inserting a swelling series of rat-a-tat beats before the final hook. Growing up together in Gainesville and seeing one of my students blossom as an incredibly gifted musician and songwriter has been one of my most fulfilling experiences in this life. This move made it the first time a Tom Petty album was the first on the charts throughout his career. "Their self-titled debut album appeared in 1976, and the band scored hits over several decades, including "American Girl", "Free Fallin'", "Breakdown", "Refugee", "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and I Won't Back Down". Full Moon Fever went on to sell more than five million copies in the USA, according to the RIAA. "Thanks for honoring Las Vegas and Tom Petty tonight".

"Strummer Vacation" which aired November 10, 2002, centered on Homer heading off to a rock "n" roll fantasy camp run by the Rolling Stones.

On top of that, nearly one in five songs on the top 100 singles chart - 19 in total - were by Petty and his band.

"Your music has changed this world for the better".

Eric Clapton, rock royalty to millions of fans, expressed sadness, telling the Associated Press: "I'm shocked and saddened by the news of Tom's passing, he's such a huge part of our musical history, there'll never be another like him".

In a particularly warm memory of mine, I put Tom Petty as the author.

- Slash (@Slash) October 3, 2017So sad about Tom Petty, he made some great music.

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Added Ringo Starr, also on Twitter: "God bless Tom Petty..."

What I believe defines a great artist is someone whose work brings true emotion, making some unnecessary thing invaluable to those that were affected by it.

Petty - known for hits such as "American Girl", "Don't Come Around Here No More" and "I Won't Back Down" - just last week had wrapped up a tour to mark 40 years of his band the Heartbreakers. The album Southern Accents included an Alice in Wonderland-inspired song, "Don't Come Around Here No More", with Petty dressed as the Mad Hatter chasing Alice through Wonderland, eventually dropping her into a cup of tea and then eating her slice by slice as if she were a sheet cake.

At June's Arroyo Seco Weekend festival in Pasadena, which he headlined, Petty played to a crowd clearly filled with people who'd discovered him at different points.

"I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted to know what it felt like to fly", John Mayer wrote.

However, in 1997, Tom Petty fell on hard times.

"All right. Now I'm gettin' excited", he said. He will be missed by fans and musicians alike. "My mother and grandmother laid me in my bed, stripped me and they took cotton and alcohol, cleaning these big welts all over my body".

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