Tom Petty Believed He Was Playing His Last Tour
Tom Petty believed he was delivering his last tour during the road trip leading up to his death last year, his widow Dana said. She also revealed that he’d only been told he was suffering from emphysema, along with a broken hip, just before the tour began.
Petty died on Oct. 2, 2017, after an accidental overdose of painkillers. He’d been avoiding the hip surgery doctors had recommended for some time. “He would do anything to help anyone -- his bandmates, the crew, the fans – and that's why he did the last tour with a fractured hip,” Dana told Billboard in a new interview. “He was adamant. He found out a few days before the tour was gonna start – and that he had emphysema.”
She said he’d relied on drugs on the road to keep his hip pain under control but was looking forward to not needing them anymore. “That's why he wouldn't go to the hospital when his hip broke,” Dana recalled. “He was like, 'I just got home. I want some time. I don't want to go to hip replacement surgery. I want to be home with my wife and my dog.' I was just like, dude, you can't hobble around the house… insane in pain, but he was stubborn. He’d had it in mind it was his last tour and he owed it to his long-time crew, from decades some of them, and his fans.”
She said she was appreciative that Petty had been able to perform his final three shows at the Hollywood Bowl in the days leading up to his passing. “[T]he day before he died he was pounding his chest going, 'I'm on top of the world!' Never had he been so proud of himself, so happy, so looking forward to the future – and then he's gone.”
Petty tribute box set An American Treasure has just been released.
Tom Petty Through the Years