45+ Tom Petty Quotes On Love, Death & Savage

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Tom Petty was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead vocalist and guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, formed in 1976. Throughout his career, which spanned four decades, Petty produced several hit singles, many of which are considered classic rock staples. He also released three solo albums. His musical style encompassed various genres, including rock, pop, folk, and blues.

In addition to his work with the Heartbreakers, Petty collaborated with several other artists throughout his career. He worked with Jeff Lynne on Full Moon Fever (1989) and Into the Great Wide Open (1991), as well as George Harrison on The Travelling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988). Petty also found success as a solo artist with hits like “Free Fallin'” (1989) and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” (1993).

Petty passed away in October 2017 at 66 after suffering a cardiac arrest. In the days following his death, tributes poured in from fellow musicians and fans alike. His music continues to be loved by many and will live on for years.

Here are some of Tom Petty’s most memorable quotes:

Savage Tom Petty Quotes

  • “You never slow down, you never grow old”
  • “You belong somewhere you feel free”
  • “You believe what you want to believe”
  • “Even the losers get lucky sometimes”
  • “I felt so good like anything was possible”
  • “I’m barely prolific and incredibly lazy”
  • “I’ve always had a great love for the blues”
  • “Most things I worry about never happen anyway”
  • “I think it’s important to always offer something new”
  • “Do something you really like, and hopefully, it pays the rent As far as I’m concerned, that’s success”
  • “I don’t see myself as the savior of anything On one hand, I’m flattered; that’s why it’s so hard to complain What we’re really striving for is to inspire someone”
  • “When I decided to be a musician I reckoned that that was going to be the way of less profit, less money”
  • “Where “After all it was a great big world with lots of places to run to”
  • “I like to be an optimist, but I like to be a realist, too”
  • “Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person”
  • “Buy me a drink, sing me a song, take me as I come, cause I can’t stay long”
  • “Workin’ on a mystery, goin’ wherever it leads, I’m runnin’ down a dream”
  • “It’s really a beautiful thing for someone like me I dedicated my entire life to this music”
  • “If I’d had to work at Taco Bell, I’d have still been out at night trying to play music”
  • “I think, for it to be unhip to be idealistic is weird, you know?”
  • “It’s funny how the music industry is enraged about the internet and the way things are copied without being paid for”


Tom Petty Quotes On Love & Death

Tom Petty once said, “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band.” And he was right – country music simply wouldn’t be the same without the mournful wail of a fiddle. But Petty didn’t just stick to country; he was also a master of rock ‘n’ roll, infusing his songs with a gritty realism that resonates with fans today.

Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida, in 1950 and raised by his mother after his father left when he was young. He learned to play guitar early and formed his first band, Mudcrutch, while still in high school. The group released its first album in 1974, but it wasn’t until Petty went solo that he found widespread success.

His 1976 debut album Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, included the smash hit “Breakdown,” and the group became one of the biggest acts in rock music. Over the next four decades, Petty released 13 more studio albums with the Heartbreakers and several solo albums and collaborations. He continued to tour extensively up until he died in 2017.

Petty’s songs are timeless classics filled with wit, humor, and wisdom. Here are some of our favorite Tom Petty quotes on love, death, funny and savagery:

  • “It’s sort of hope amongst the ruins, I think To me we’re all in the great wide open I think life is pretty wild; I really want to like the world, but at the same time I have to write about what I see”
  • “You’ve gotta work it a little harder and you have to be mindful of what you’re doing all the time”
  • “Back then it was almost like admitting that you were never going to make any money and realizing you probably were not going to have a professional life but saying, ‘this is what I love, so I’ll do this'”
  • “It’s the only true magic I know It’s not pulling a rabbit out of a hat; it’s real It’s your soul floating out to theirs”
  • “I want to be successful Not just money Just making a successful record and a successful show I could feel successful without selling a million records”
  • “Songwriting ability is a gift After a while, you come to realize, ‘I’ve really been blessed I can write these things and it makes me happy, and it makes millions of people happy'”
  • “I’m really maniacally interested in music That’s only what I’m into now I can’t get enough of that”
  • “I’m certainly not a Robin Hood, I’m not that way I don’t want to come through, burn everybody for dollars a ticket and then they can’t afford to come see me again Plus, I just don’t think it’s right”
  • “Music really isn’t supposed to be perfect It’s all about people relating to each other and doing something that’s really from the soul It must come from the soul”
  • “Well I know what’s right, I got just one life, in a world that keeps on pushin’ me around, but I’ll stand my ground”
  • I developed a problem with authority Any time that authority was what I interpreted as being unjust, I stood up to it, and that became my personality”
  • “I’m not any happier anywhere than when I’m in the studio I’m over the moon about it It keeps me young, it keeps me feeling like I have some purpose”


Famous Tom Petty Quotes

Petty’s music often explored the themes of love and loss and the innate human desire for freedom. His work frequently touched on the dark side of human nature, with songs like “Refugee” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream” exploring themes of loss and betrayal.

In his later years, Petty became increasingly outspoken about his views on politics and social issues. He was a fierce critic of President George W. Bush, calling him a “fascist” and accusing him of falsely leading the country into war.

In an interview with Rolling Stone shortly before his death, Petty reflected on his life and career, saying: “I’ve always felt like I had more to offer than just making party records.”

Petty passed away in October 2017 at 66 after suffering a cardiac arrest. His death shocked the music world, and fans paid tribute to him by posting quotes from his songs on social media.

  • “Well, some say life will beat you down, break your heart, steal your crown; So I’ve started out for God-knows-where, I guess I’ll know when I get there”
  • “The waiting is the hardest part, every day you get one more yard You take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part”
  • “I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings Coming down is the hardest thing”
  • “No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around, and I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down”
  • “Music is probably the one real magic I have encountered in my life There’s not some trick involved with it It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things”
  • “Love is painful to the touch, must be made of stronger stuff”
  • “Excuse me if I have someplace in my mind, where I go time to time”
  • “I’ve learned one thing, and that’s to quit worrying about stupid things You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax Work is for people with jobs”
  • “Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks”
  • “I had to learn a new way of playing I had to practice a lot, and just find ways around the limitations So it was a bad idea to break my hand”
  • “The only good thing about getting older is you get smart enough to avoid unnecessary problems You know what’s worth spending time on and what’s not”
  • “As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free”
  • “The music business looks like, you know, innocent schoolboys compared to the TV business They care about nothing but profit”


Petty’s lyrics often contained quotes that were both funny and savage. For example, in his song “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” he quipped: “Let me get to the point, let’s roll another joint.” This particular quote is amusing because it playfully references drug use while also suggesting that Petty is trying to forget about some heavy subject matter.

In other songs, Petty’s quotes reveal a more sentimental side. In “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” he sings: “And I don’t want to hear you say that you’re sorry / Because you’re not.” This quote communicates the hurt and anger of a failed relationship.

Finally, Petty also gave some sage advice on life and death. In “Into the Great Wide Open,” he cautionary sings: “Too much information moving too fast / It can be overwhelming.” In this case, Petty is trying to warn us about getting overwhelmed by the constant onslaught of news and information.

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