(New York Post) -- Tom Petty was the right kind of cliché.
And oh, how it hurts to write “was.”
The classic rock icon who died Monday at 66 was the embodiment of the term. “Classic,” because he made essential music that stands the test of time, and “rock,” because while many stars say it’s all about the music, to Petty it really was. He battled the record industry time and again on behalf of fans — putting his own bottom line, and in some cases his entire career, at risk.
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On the timelessness of Petty’s catalog, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder put it best: “The first time you hear a new Tom Petty song, it sounds like a classic song,” Vedder says in Peter Bogdanovich’s epic documentary on the Heartbreakers, “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”