Tom Petty has dominated the rock scene since the 1970s and his early days in the band Mudcrutch. With classic hits like “Free Falling” and “Don’t Do Me Like That” still playing reliably on radios, Petty’s music has become an emblem of a generation. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member’s impact on the world of music is unmistakable, as his collaborations have left imprints on fellow musicians and producers.
Despite his early death at 66 years old in 2017, Petty’s legendary impact has remained, and generation after generation continues to find comfort in Petty’s work. As bands take inspiration from Petty’s massive portfolio of work and music, his influence remains strong in the music industry, solidifying his place in its history.
For fans of both Petty and music journalism, here are three books to learn more about Tom Petty’s career and personality:
Conversations with Tom Petty
Compiled by music journalist Paul Zollo, this collection of interviews offers insights into Petty’s beliefs, working process, and personal life. The book includes a foreword by Petty himself, with the interviews being first-hand accounts of the legendary rocker’s time in the music industry. This book is a perfect choice for those looking to get an inside look at the world of rock and roll.
Tom Petty and Me
Published a year after Petty’s death, the 2018 memoir chronicles music promoter Jon Scott’s friendship with Petty. Though brief, the book reflects on Scott’s support of Petty professionally and emotionally throughout his career and final years. The book is forwarded by singer John Mellencamp and sheds light on Petty’s career and personal relationships.
Petty: The Biography
A New York Times Best Seller, this biography written by Petty’s close friend Warren Zanes is a cumulative view of Petty’s life, from his early idols to the peak of his popularity. For readers looking for a summative look at the rock-and-roller, this book gives full coverage of Petty’s transformative rise and career.
Though his work lives on through his hits and songwriting, the work of authors, journalists, and close friends of Petty has made sure that the songwriter’s personal legacy remains accessible. In these books, readers can get a closer look into their favorite singer’s personality and friendships and may discover a new perspective on Petty’s work.