In the mid to late 70’s I lived in an area called Encino Park, north of Ventura Blvd. At the time, the “real” part of Encino hated to even call us Encino, in fact some went as far as calling us Reseda instead. It was an interesting neighborhood, consisting of post WW2, 800 square foot homes. One of the houses, 4 doors down and across the street from me, belonged to Mike Campbell, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ great guitarist. Through people, I got to know Mike; and then to meet Tom Petty himself. TP was very nice, just your average guy starting to taste success. Of course, TP lived “South of the Blvd.), but when he wrote in Free Fallin’:
It’s a long day, livin’ in Reseda
There’s a freeway, runnin’ through the yard
we all knew where he really meant. By that time, TP was doing pretty good and he had purchased one of those homes in Encino south of Ventura Blvd., where I visited a few times and set up his audio system for him. He was always nice and a pleasure to talk to—-a real guy. Even after I moved and no longer had contact with him, I remembered those times, hanging in the living room, just chatting. And I continued to enjoy his music, both old and new. But most of all, I just remembered TP as a nice guy. I hope he’ll be happy playing in that big band in the sky. RIP, Tom.
Note: Due to conflicting and erroneous info from the LAPD, Coroner’s Office and CBS News, I’m leaving this as just a nice story about Tom Petty. It will be updated if needed.–ES
UPDATED 10.02.2017 9:30pm PST Associated Press confirmed 11 minutes ago that Tom Petty has died of cardiac arrest at the age of 66. Confusion about the veracity of news about his condition seems to have stemmed from the fact that he was on life support. – Elise Thompson