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Coroner's Report/Petty Family Update

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39 minutes ago, gracie15 said:

...I just cannot think that Bruce Springsteen got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before Tom and the Heartbreakers. Why?   

I assume it's because Bruce was eligible for the R&R HoF for a few years before Tom was.  Bruce's first album was out at least 3 years before the first Heartbreaker album, and one requirement is "at least 25 years since your first record".  I think?  Didn't both get in during their first year of eligibility?

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I don't see how Stan wouldn't but who cares really.

What does it matter; that's their business.

No matter how many Zollo or Zanes books or interviews or documentaries we take in, we don't know what goes on in any of these peoples' heads. I used to think Tom was this laid back guy till I heard a radio interview from Wildflowers when he debunked that part of his reputation. Looking back it makes sense, how could a laid back guy lead a successful rock band? So we don't know them, not any of them.

Stan was fired/quit the band over twenty years ago. If true, he hadn't talked to Tom from that moment  till the Rock Hall reunion.  Who knows how much or little they were in contact after that.

We're not privy to any of their true feelings, which I"m sure are complicated. But...I'm sure Stan reacted to Tom's death and is mourning in his own private way; he played drums in a very successful rock band that changed his life.

I'd be shocked if there wasn't a reaction. However, I can respect Stan and anyone else for not blabbing about it to the press because frankly, it's none of our business. I don't take the silence as disrespect but rather as something too personal to share with reporters.

 

 

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This transcript was shared over at Tom Petty Nation. I hope they don't mind that I share it here.  Steve Ferrone is a good friend.  ❤️

Here is a rough transcript of Steve Ferrone's statement on episode 32 of the New Guy Show. It’ll play tonight 5PM EST/8PM PST. It does set the record straight. 

"I’m gonna start the show with something that has been bothering me, I know  there has been a lot of chatter on the internet, people talking about addiction, and opiates, and stuff like that, with Tom, and I have to say, I kind of know  a bit about addictions, what it does to people, and how people react, and I was playing with Tom when he was dealing with addiction, and there’s a lot of personality changes that happen with addiction, and there was none of that. I used to help Tom up onstage before and he was in a lot of pain with his hip, people used to come to the concerts and see us with his arm around my shoulder and we were talking, and basically, like, “are you ok with this step”, and he would get up there and he would step on the stage, and I guess he was taking his medication as prescribed, and it would get him through the show, and it would last through the show so he wouldn’t need me to help him back up onto the stage for the encore, so what happened when his hip collapsed, he must have been in awful, awful pain and it was a horrible accident, but I can tell you that Tom was taking painkillers because he was in pain, and that was it."

 

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9 hours ago, Marion said:

This transcript was shared over at Tom Petty Nation. I hope they don't mind that I share it here.  Steve Ferrone is a good friend.  ❤️

Here is a rough transcript of Steve Ferrone's statement on episode 32 of the New Guy Show. It’ll play tonight 5PM EST/8PM PST. It does set the record straight. 

"I’m gonna start the show with something that has been bothering me, I know  there has been a lot of chatter on the internet, people talking about addiction, and opiates, and stuff like that, with Tom, and I have to say, I kind of know  a bit about addictions, what it does to people, and how people react, and I was playing with Tom when he was dealing with addiction, and there’s a lot of personality changes that happen with addiction, and there was none of that. I used to help Tom up onstage before and he was in a lot of pain with his hip, people used to come to the concerts and see us with his arm around my shoulder and we were talking, and basically, like, “are you ok with this step”, and he would get up there and he would step on the stage, and I guess he was taking his medication as prescribed, and it would get him through the show, and it would last through the show so he wouldn’t need me to help him back up onto the stage for the encore, so what happened when his hip collapsed, he must have been in awful, awful pain and it was a horrible accident, but I can tell you that Tom was taking painkillers because he was in pain, and that was it."

 

 

In the face of any ugly rumors, that Tom was supposedly back in old habits before he died, I'm glad that Steve shared his inside views on this! I am glad that he speaks for the character of Tom's in a most wonderful way. I for one never doubted what he says there. If anything, it seems to confirm my view, that pain and weakness has been noticeble, while any obvious signs of addiction and excessive usage has not. (Given that it's sometimes hard to tell from the outside, and who am I to judge one way or the other how Tom dealt with his pain in private anyway?)

As I see, though, this still doesn't mean that Tom's status had any positive effect, professionally, on the tour, or that the tour had any positive effect on Tom's medical status. Quite likely the opposite, if I may again be so blunt. Neither does the lack of a verified or actual addiction of any kind - as certified by Steve - change the fact that Tom had what he had in his systems when he died. Things that may or may not have been "as prescribed". Again, this is not to judge the chemical or medical details, the responsibilities and the what-ifs and all that, since I have no idea, basically. All I know is that to me the tour did not make Tom quite justice, for some time he did not seem well, and now he is dead from the things the official report says. All in all, that is not neither straight nor optimal in my book. To me it all implies that on some levels, somewhere, some bad decisions were made, some weird balancing of professional obligations and private concerns, clearly some rather missinformed calculations, a bad accident and a loss beyond comprehension to many of us. :( 

On another, somewhat related note. Steve mentions how Tom did not need him to help him on stage for the encore. This fascinates me. Steve implies that this was thanks to medication. I am sure it was, to some extent. But another reason why Tom needed help with stairs before the show but not at the end of shows, may also be attributed to the "performance high", so often acknowledged by artist (and that I too experienced first hand on a few occasions). And there have been many stories. I can't recall the name at this point, but I read of this case where a pathologically alcoholic rock star that was basically unable to walk - pretty much at all - for most parts of his miserable last tour and he was literally carried up on stage and put behind the microphone behind the red curtain. Curtain goes up, the guy performs, if at times wild and erratic, on his feet - singing, playing, walking dancing, jumping, curtain goes down, the guy collapse on the floor and is carried off. This is normal procedure in a few weeks(!!) Then the guy dies.

This rather horrible story is not to offend anyone and certainly not to suggest any similarities at all with Tom's case. All I'm saying is that supposedly the performing situation, the energy, the music, the love and adoration apparently can really hold you up quite literally. Of which many have paid witness. More over it can make you happy and forget the most serious of worries. It's very double edge that way, since at the same time performing can make your physical shape worsen by the hours - not to mention the effect all other aspects of touring, traveling, working hard, can and will have, even on a healthy person. Even for ageing rock stars, who travel comfortably and who perhaps does not tour to escape their home life obligations or other pains, the way some younger stars might do, touring is hard work, at least the performance part can be gruesome in the midst of it being totally fantastic and "healing". Especially when you're closing in on 70 and get out for 50+ dates, I can imagine it becoming addictive almost.. the flow the move.. the love! So people who say that Tom was so happy on this tour may have a point. I am sure that he was happy in some ways. And what Steve says seem to confirm as much. It's just that, knowing what we now know, this doesn't quite seem to tell the whole story.

I don't know why I write all this, but Steve's message made me think many things.

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I had pretty good seats for the Boston show.  He clearly had some pain at times, my wife and I both noticed this. At the same time he was clearly, truly enjoying being on the stage even if it was the same set and overall show that we saw in CT a month before.  He loved the audience as much as we loved him and seemed genuinely grateful to have an audience and be putting on a show for them.  His voice was strong and he had the patter of someone that cradled the crowd in his hand. I will miss him forever.  We can wish all we want that things were different. It breaks my heart that he is gone, and I was really crushed quiet recently when my 12 year old daughter asked me if I knew he died of an overdose.  He sure didn't look or act like an addict from what I could see.   

 

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8 hours ago, Shelter said:

To me it all implies that on some levels, somewhere, some bad decisions were made, some weird balancing of professional obligations and private concerns, clearly some rather missinformed calculations, a bad accident and a loss 

  Understood. I wonder if there were plans for Tom to get his hip fixed after the tour. Again, we just don't know enough about any of this.

8 hours ago, Shelter said:

I don't know why I write all this,

 What better place to express such thoughts than this forum?

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10 hours ago, Shelter said:

So people who say that Tom was so happy on this tour may have a point. I am sure that he was happy in some ways. And what Steve says seem to confirm as much. It's just that, knowing what we now know, this doesn't quite seem to tell the whole story.

I can't see him going out on tour repeatedly if he didn't enjoy it. 

There is some basis to the 'performance high,' though. Exercise can significantly increase the secretion of beta-Endorphin, an analgesic agent which works to inhibit the release of substance P (associated with inflammation and pain) and GABA (which prevents the release of dopamine). Beta-endorphin can be anywhere from 18 to 33 times more potent than morphine.

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I've been on pain killers , just one , oxycodone.  I can't imagine trying to do anything on it.  And Tom was on more than just one .  ( One thing we're forgetting here , the drugs found in his body was found in October.  Who's to say what he was on in July , August , etc. ) Who's to say the union prescribed one was just taken that day or week ?  He was in so much pain he needed relief, I've been there as I'm sure others have .  You don't take more drugs thinking you'll OD , but thinking it'll stop the pain until you can be help.  In years to come more of the story will come out I'm sure , but just like it took awhile for Elvis death to come out I'm sure it will with Tom.  It's interesting how Tom and Elvis' careers linked. 

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I believe with all my heart that he did that tour because he wanted to and he had a great time.  He was totally on top and put on a fantastic show with the ones he loved. The set list might not have been to everyone's liking....I loved it, but he was doing the best he could and he did great!  The fans were happy!

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12 minutes ago, twisterseal said:

Hello, I am new to the forum.   Tom Petty was my favorite singer and I miss him.   I liked his versatility in singing rock anthems, blues, country, folk and even a lullaby.  His songwriting skills were exceptional and his talent unmatched.

Welcome

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It's all good. Although I really think my input to this thread has gone largely misread or unappreciated. Which is fine, of course. I am glad to have been able to share it.

These things are complex and sad and people don't always agree to begin with anyway. I know many (most?) fans don't think the last tour did suffer from Tom's health issues, or that the tour was in any way bad for him. To me both of which are undeniable facts. (Whithout which, most of what actually happened last year doesn't make sense, and must seem like a total mystery to people.)

But please note: This does not mean that Tom didn't do a good job with the tour, that the fans didn't love it to pieces (I know that a fraction of fans would be floored with excitement no matter what state Tom was in, so why even discuss such aspects) or that the tour killed him just like that. Just that it was at large unneccessay, artistically and personally. But I agree it's complex.

Finally (and this will be final), to say that last tour was so great "despite..." or so incredible "considering...", is actually nothing short of actually beginning to see my point, if subconsiously so. Sorry.

We all deal with this in our own way, by our own logic, or own pain or our own sheer religious passion. It's all good! It's even fantastic. And we don't need to "understand" anything really. Least of all each other. Sometimes life sucks. We are all fellow fans, full of love and loss these days. So, kudos to Mike and Ben and now Steve, for the various inside perspectives on this they have shared with us. They are also a huge part if this TPATH miracle that changes our lives and I hope they will continue to be in their own ways in the future.

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It is so sad that Petty is gone.  My thought is that he appeared ill for a while and I'm surprised he got clearance to even perform during this long tour.    Also, nobody has mentioned, but with the emphysema and coronary artery disease that he had, as well as possibly other conditions that we don't know about, perhaps he wasn't even a candidate for the hip replacement surgery and might have been told that surgery would be dangerous for him, which is why he might have chosen to do the tour instead of having the hip fixed at that point.   Also, it is telling to me that he died the same day he was told he had a full break of the hip.  I was wondering where he was informed of that?  If it was at a doctor's office, wouldn't they admit him immediately to a hospital?  Perhaps he was able to withstand the hip fracture, but when it turned to a full break, the pain must have been excruciating for him.  Nobody really knows what happened and what was in his mind - and we never will.   In reading some of the above posts, if Petty needed help climbing the stairs and walking and was in such pain, he belonged in a hospital, not on the stage.   He was an extraordinary talent and person.  I hope wherever he is, he is free from pain and amongst the wildflowers where he feels free.

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5 hours ago, twisterseal said:

It is so sad that Petty is gone.  My thought is that he appeared ill for a while and I'm surprised he got clearance to even perform during this long tour.    Also, nobody has mentioned, but with the emphysema and coronary artery disease that he had, as well as possibly other conditions that we don't know about, perhaps he wasn't even a candidate for the hip replacement surgery and might have been told that surgery would be dangerous for him, which is why he might have chosen to do the tour instead of having the hip fixed at that point.   Also, it is telling to me that he died the same day he was told he had a full break of the hip.  I was wondering where he was informed of that?  If it was at a doctor's office, wouldn't they admit him immediately to a hospital?  Perhaps he was able to withstand the hip fracture, but when it turned to a full break, the pain must have been excruciating for him.  Nobody really knows what happened and what was in his mind - and we never will.   In reading some of the above posts, if Petty needed help climbing the stairs and walking and was in such pain, he belonged in a hospital, not on the stage.   He was an extraordinary talent and person.  I hope wherever he is, he is free from pain and amongst the wildflowers where he feels free.

 

'Nobody really knows what happened and what was in his mind - and we never will.   In reading some of the above posts, if Petty needed help climbing the stairs and walking and was in such pain, he belonged in a hospital, not on the stage.'

 

Agree. In a way it doesn't matter anymore, but there a few loose ends that are slightly 'mysterious'. 

 

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11 hours ago, Shelter said:

...my input to this thread has gone largely misread or unappreciated. 

 Shelter's Burden :P

11 hours ago, Shelter said:

I know many (most?) fans don't think the last tour did suffer from Tom's health issues, or that the tour was in any way bad for him. To me both of which are undeniable facts. (Whithout which, most of what actually happened last year doesn't make sense, and must seem like a total mystery to people.)

  I agree. Leaving off that who knows, Tom may have still died if he hadn't gone on tour, that it could've been his time as it were and I'm not saying I think that, I'm just lightly pointing out another option.

Unless I'm missing something it looks like here are the three main points that have been brought up:

1) Shouldn't have done the tour with a hip injury and/or not in the best health.

 Since we know so little about the situation it doesn't make sense for him to go on tour if he wasn't in good shape or injured himself at some point during the run. It's admirable! The display of strength and determination regardless of the meds helping is respectable. But definitely not worth it. Maybe he figured one more time and he'd never do this again and the thought of canceling on the crew and the fans and the band and then building up to doing it all again after a major surgery/hip replacement could've seemed like too much.

2) Did Tom have a drug problem that contributed to his death? It seems like most people don't think so and Steve has gone on record saying he doesn't think that was the case. I think a lot of people feel that Tom simply took too many meds to ease the agony he was in, without knowing what it would do to him.

3) The quality of the tour. This divides into two points: the performances and the set list.

   Anyone new to the board who wants to read a lot of set list discussion, just search around and you'll find pages and pages dedicated to the topic; criticisms, defense, dream set lists, current at the time tour reviews of set lists, etc. 

11 hours ago, Shelter said:

Finally (and this will be final), to say that last tour was so great "despite..." or so incredible "considering...", is actually nothing short of actually beginning to see my point, if subconsiously so. Sorry.

 Without returning to the set list criticism, I didn't think there was anything special about this tour from my the distance of my computer screen, and aside from a few songs, nothing exciting about the set list. Performance wise I think there were some moments that felt rote to me while other songs seemed energized, particularly You Wreck Me which extended to a Mike/Benmont back-n-forth.

Now that Tom has died, the entire last tour has a completely different feel to it, particularly the last show. My criticisms are the same but that it's their last concert, it's less about the set list and more about that final experience. Does that make sense?

But yes, I agree with Shelter that in comparison to other tours and what they've done in the past, there was nothing particularly note worthy about this tour while it happened. That doesn't attempt to negate others' enjoyment, how could it? Many people on here (and not here) went to the shows and enjoyed it and I'm sure are grateful they went considering Tom's passing. 

Here I'm going to go off the beaten path a bit and return to what I lightly touched upon before.

Who knows? Perhaps on some deeper level Tom felt he should go do this, that he never would again. PURE SPECULATION. Who knows? Maybe not. Maybe he simply wanted to do the tour and deal with his health after the fact; we just don't know enough and yet, as is often the case in these types of situations, can't help returning and trying to regardless.

32 minutes ago, Lifeshouldbesung said:

Agree. In a way it doesn't matter anymore, but there a few loose ends that are slightly 'mysterious'.

    It feels that way, it could just be the missing pieces that are the family's business and not ours, but it just does feel off, since there was the small time between the last show and his death. He even gave an interview during that period of time!

 

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17 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 Shelter's Burden :P

  I agree. Leaving off that who knows, Tom may have still died if he hadn't gone on tour, that it could've been his time as it were and I'm not saying I think that, I'm just lightly pointing out another option.

Unless I'm missing something it looks like here are the three main points that have been brought up:

1) Shouldn't have done the tour with a hip injury and/or not in the best health.

 Since we know so little about the situation it doesn't make sense for him to go on tour if he wasn't in good shape or injured himself at some point during the run. It's admirable! The display of strength and determination regardless of the meds helping is respectable. But definitely not worth it. Maybe he figured one more time and he'd never do this again and the thought of canceling on the crew and the fans and the band and then building up to doing it all again after a major surgery/hip replacement could've seemed like too much.

2) Did Tom have a drug problem that contributed to his death? It seems like most people don't think so and Steve has gone on record saying he doesn't think that was the case. I think a lot of people feel that Tom simply took too many meds to ease the agony he was in, without knowing what it would do to him.

3) The quality of the tour. This divides into two points: the performances and the set list.

   Anyone new to the board who wants to read a lot of set list discussion, just search around and you'll find pages and pages dedicated to the topic; criticisms, defense, dream set lists, current at the time tour reviews of set lists, etc. 

 Without returning to the set list criticism, I didn't think there was anything special about this tour from my the distance of my computer screen, and aside from a few songs, nothing exciting about the set list. Performance wise I think there were some moments that felt rote to me while other songs seemed energized, particularly You Wreck Me which extended to a Mike/Benmont back-n-forth.

Now that Tom has died, the entire last tour has a completely different feel to it, particularly the last show. My criticisms are the same but that it's their last concert, it's less about the set list and more about that final experience. Does that make sense?

But yes, I agree with Shelter that in comparison to other tours and what they've done in the past, there was nothing particularly note worthy about this tour while it happened. That doesn't attempt to negate others' enjoyment, how could it? Many people on here (and not here) went to the shows and enjoyed it and I'm sure are grateful they went considering Tom's passing. 

Here I'm going to go off the beaten path a bit and return to what I lightly touched upon before.

Who knows? Perhaps on some deeper level Tom felt he should go do this, that he never would again. PURE SPECULATION. Who knows? Maybe not. Maybe he simply wanted to do the tour and deal with his health after the fact; we just don't know enough and yet, as is often the case in these types of situations, can't help returning and trying to regardless.

    It feels that way, it could just be the missing pieces that are the family's business and not ours, but it just does feel off, since there was the small time between the last show and his death. He even gave an interview during that period of time!

 

 

'It feels that way, it could just be the missing pieces that are the family's business and not ours, but it just does feel off, since there was the small time between the last show and his death. He even gave an interview during that period of time!'

I totally agree that essentially none of this is our business. Having said that though, this is a famous person who was in the public domain and who we all cared about (from a distance), so it's not so strange that people might speculate or wonder about things they don't know or don't understand. But in the bigger scheme of things, yes correct, I would never feel I am owed an explanation or to be privy to any personal family secrets,, but that doesn't stop me from thinking something is, to use your word, 'off' about all this. Just not sure what it is and I may never know - and that's ok :)

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 Shelter's Burden :P

Haha! If you say so. I'm not sure whos burdon it is...

1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 It's admirable!

If that's what you want to call it, yeah.. My take implies that even if it was the best tour ever (and some say it was), it would still be better not to go.

(It also implies that from certain angles it may have seemed best not to go, for years in advance. That there may have been more interesting options. But I realize that is beside the point, that it's moreover overly cynical and I thus prefer to comment on the situation at hand, which I did.)

Either way. In the face of everything, I'd say turning that tour down would have been the real 'admireble' thing. Granted, we all want and see different things.

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11 minutes ago, Shelter said:

Either way. In the face of everything, I'd say turning that tour down would have been the real 'admireble' thing. Granted, we all want and see different things

 It's admirable on an emotional level to not want to let so many down and struggle through the pain to perform. I can respect that even though I can also see it was a mistake with hindsight.

I agree with you, better to have not toured at all. Even if it had been a crazy set list tour full of non-stop deep cuts and spontaneity, better he'd have taken care of himself and lived for many more years, for his family and his music.

 

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I said a long time before in a post , like my dad , emphysema could've prevented any surgery.   His friends may not have known of drug use ,I have friends and I don't know everything about them as I'm sure all of you do.  We loved Tom so of course we're concerned. 

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