It’s shocking and strange to think of a world without Tom Petty.
The singer, who died on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest, was the kind of artist whose songs felt like permanent fixtures of pop music, influencing multiple generations of songwriters.
One singer who “idolized” the Heartbreaker’s way with words and music? Taylor Swift.
The Look What You Made Me Do singer knows a thing or two about writing songs herself, and in a touching statement to Rolling Stone she said the music of Tom Petty was a big part of that:
“To me, Tom Petty represented a kind of songwriting I idolized: complex simplicity.
It said so much in the lyrics, the concepts, the stories, the message, the nuances… but always brought you back to a hook that got stuck in everyone’s head. He motivated thousands of guitarists to learn to play just because they wanted to be able to play ‘Free Fallin.’ Count me as one of them.”
She may have started playing guitar because of Free Fallin’, but it was another song she put the work into covering.
Hear her version of Tom’s American Girl from way back in 2009 (below):
[Image via Judy Eddy/WENN.]