One of the world's biggest music icons, Tom Petty, passed away overnight from a heart attack. As fans remember the rockstar, people in Macon as they reflect back on Petty's time spent in Central Georgia.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers struck major success worldwide.
But before the rock-and-roller hit it big, Petty auditioned for Capricorn Records as the band Mudcrutch, at Grant's Lounge in downtown Macon. Owner of the club Edward Grant says things didn't work out in Petty's favor.
"They decided as a group, Capricorn, that particular type music was really not fitting with what they were trying to do at that time," Grand said. "And boy, what a loss."
Then Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers went on to become one of the most famous rock-and-roll bands in the world, with the help of the band's bass player.
Ron Blair is the bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He's actually from right here in Macon. His family owns Blair's Discount Furniture downtown, and his family kept up with all of the band's success, sharing their memorabilia, T-shirts, photos, and magazines.
Director of Collections at the Big House Richard Brent says Blair's sister married Gregg Allman, so the two bands shared a friendship over the years.
"Being friends with Gregg Allman, he asked to use his deceased brother Duane's, to use his showman's amplifier and it has Heartbreakers stenciled on top," Brent said. "And when the museum had the soft opening of December of '09, he returned it to us and it's been here on display ever since."
Brent says Tom Petty's death is a great loss to the music world.
"Dumbfounded by it. I just couldn't believe it," Brent said. "I mean, 2017 has been a horrific year for music and so, it's close to home. The loss of Tom Petty really hits close to home here in Macon."
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