Petty and the Heartbreakers had just wrapped up a successful six-month tour on September 25, but when asked if that was the band's last hurrah, Petty chuckled.
Petty died on Monday aged 66.
In the late 1980s, Petty recorded two albums as part of the Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup consisting of himself, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and Roy Orbison, under the monikers Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Muddy Wilbury. His hits are numerous and span multiple decades, from "Last Dance with Mary Jane" to "Free Fallin'", "Yer So Bad", "Runnin' Down A Dream", "American Girl", and more.
He's a classic, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Hollywood star and he will live on through his well-crafted lyrics, influencing generations to come. "He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I'll never forget him". "Then we'd stop. I think that would be the end of it, if someone couldn't do it".
"This year has been a wonderful year for us", Petty told the Los Angeles Times of the tour in what was his final interview. "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are America's band".
He would speak of being consumed by rock music since childhood, to the point where his father, whom Petty would later say beat him savagely, thought he was "mental".
A little background. Talk to just about any successful musician who started their career in the '60s, '70s, or '80s and you'll find out that their first contract was terribly one-sided.
The utterly surreal music video for "Don't Come Around Here No More", in which Petty plays Alice In Wonderland's Mad Hatter, is a flawless example of his sense of humour.
Petty formed The Heartbreakers in the mid 1970s, but it wasn't until the band's third album "Damn the Torpedoes" in 1979 that their music really took off, with hits such as "Refugee" and "Don't Do Me Like That".