The night before what would have been Tom Petty's 67th birthday, a group of fans convened along the Southern California thoroughfare name-checked in his classic "Free Fallin'" to pay tribute to the dearly departed singer.

Petty, who left music lovers stunned and saddened with his sudden death on Oct. 2, painted a vivid lyrical portrait of late '80s life around Los Angeles in "Free Fallin'," including a number of references to local landmarks — like the line "All the vampires walking through the valley / Move west down Ventura Boulevard."

That particular lyric inspired local artist and jeweler Mary Soracco to organize yesterday's "vampire walk" as an eerily fitting birthday celebration.

"My friends were joking with me how I wasn’t a Tom Petty fan before this, but how can I not be a fan after this?" Soracco told the Los Angeles Daily News. "I love L.A., and he loved L.A., and that’s the reason why I’m doing this."

You can see video from the event above, and some photos below.

The paper estimated up to 300 people turned out for the walk, which included a Petty lookalike leading members of the crowd through singalong renditions of some of his greatest hits. While at least one individual interviewed by the Daily News admitted they'd never heard of Petty before getting caught up in the celebration, most attendees professed a deep and longstanding love of his music — and pointed to the California connection in particular.

"My husband told me we got a place in Reseda, and I said okay without having seen it because of Tom Petty," one walker told the News. "I’m his biggest fan."

Sarah Morris, Getty Images
Sarah Morris, Getty Images
Sarah Morris, Getty Images
Sarah Morris, Getty Images
Sarah Morris, Getty Images
Sarah Morris, Getty Images

 

 

 

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