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40 Timeless Tom Petty Quotes to Honor His Endless Contributions

40 Timeless Tom Petty Quotes to Honor His Endless Contributions

Life can be too hard, but Tom Petty's music was a way out. The man himself was an example of the pursuit of freedom, passion, doing what you love, doing nothing halfhearted, and standing up for what's rightIf his music makes you feel things, too, read these Tom Petty quotes. It's that passion that'll carry you. 

“It took us two years to make, but it sounds like it was made on a weekend — the right weekend.” — Rick Rubin, producer, referencing the 1994 album Wildflowers

40 Timeless Tom Petty Quotes, in Honor of Everything He Gave the World

1. “I still really love playing with this band. It’s just such a ridiculously good band; I think that’s what keeps me involved in going out on the road. it keeps me wanting to go out and play. I just really love playing with these guys. I think we all treasure the Heartbreakers; When we actually get together and it’s the Heartbreakers there’s a sense of pride in it. And we know we’re good [laughs], so that’s something to live up to, isn’t it? Every time we go out there we want to be really great.” — Tom Petty (2005)

2. “I don’t think I’ve walked away ever thinking ‘Ah, that’s perfect.’ I do the best I can. That’s what keeps me coming back.” — Tom Petty (2017)

3. “You know, music isn’t really supposed to be perfect. It’s all about people relating to each other and doing something that’s really from the soul.” — Tom Petty

4. “It wasn’t work for me, because I would’ve done it anyway… I just had a built-in love of what I was doing. I created my own vision of what I wanted to do. I was on a mission.” — Tom Petty (2017)

5. If you spend a lot of time thinking about your career, you don't have one. - Tom Petty (1991)

6. “And if you follow your feelings, and you follow your dreams, you might find the forest there in the trees.” — Tom Petty, Wake Up Time

7. “Back then it was almost like admitting that you were never going to make any money and realizing you probably were not going to have a professional life but saying, ‘This is what I love, so I’ll do this.'” — Tom Petty (1991)

8. “Music is… the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.” — Tom Petty

9. “You take it on faith. You take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part.” — Tom Petty, The Waiting

10. “We’ve gotten used to not playing the same show night after night. I hope some of that feeling comes along with it, some of that freedom to explore. I’ve seen people that have been around a long time and they just fall into routine and self-parody. That’s just not where we want to wind up. We really believe in this music, this rock ‘n’ roll music that we’re playing. And we want to keep it fresh and avoid any sort of routine to it.” — Tom Petty (1999)

11. "We've all got to kind of come together if we want things to be better." - Tom Petty (2002)

18. “The Hard Promises Tour was a very hard tour, a hard one for me mentally. All of a sudden we were in a different place. I think I started to take it too seriously. I really wanted to part the Red Sea every night. I felt I had to…. It took me awhile to reckon all that out, get comfortable with it it. Now I cherish it.” — Tom Petty (1982)

19. “It’s a really great surprise to find out you can get better as you get older. I’m enjoying performing because the band just gets better and better; instead of going the other direction, we’re actually getting better at what we’re doing, and that obviously makes it a little easier to do. It seems like over the years, ever time we get together and plug in and start to play we’ve come a little further than we were. If you kind of take care of yourself and care a lot about what you’re doing, there’s no end to it I don’ think. I think you can keep improving, and I think if we don’t we’ll stop.” — Tom Petty (2005)

20. “It’s sort of hope amongst the ruins, I think. To me we’re all in the great wide open. I think life is pretty wild; I really want to like the world, but at the same time I have to write about what I see.” — Tom Petty (1991)

"Sometimes you're happy. Sometimes you cry. Half of me is ocean. Half of me is sky." - Tom Petty

22. “Do something you really like, and hopefully it pays the rent. As far as I’m concerned, that’s success.” — Tom Petty

23. “You belong among the wildflowers. You belong in a boat out at sea. You belong with your love on your arm. You belong somewhere you feel free.” — Tom Petty, Wildflowers

24. “Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person.” — Tom Petty

25. “Well some say life will beat you down. Break your heart, steal your crown. So I’ve started out for God knows where. I guess I’ll know when I get there.” — Tom Petty, Learning to Fly

"Take me as I come 'cause I can't stay long." - Tom Petty

27. “I would assure all his fans that George was just as beautiful as they pictured him. And maybe more.” — Tom Petty, referencing his friend and Beatles members, George Harrison

28. “I learned so much from Bob Dylan. “He gave us a kind of courage that we never had, to learn something quickly and go out on stage and play it… You really learnt the value of spontaneity, of how a moment that is real in a concert is worth so much more than one you plan out.” — Tom Petty (2012)

29. “If you’re phony, they will feel it in the farthest row of the arena. You have to really care. And you have to make yourself care time and time again.” — Tom Petty

30. “… The only people who ever really make the big score are the ones who run off the course.”— Tom Petty (1980)

"You need eagles wings to get over things that make no sense in this world." - Tom Petty

32. “I always had a little routine of going into whatever room I was using at the time to write in, and just staying in there till I felt like I got a bite.” — Tom Petty (2017)

33. “I’m more interested in what I’m going to leave behind me than in making a big hit record. I’ve refined what I do for a long time. If getting better at it means it goes over the heads of those who only wanted to party, then so be it.” — Tom Petty

34. “The only good thing about getting older is you get smart enough to avoid unnecessary problems. You know what’s worth spending time on and what’s not. If I had known that at 20, life would have been so much easier, but you have to experience all these things so you figure out how to find your way through the woods.” — Tom Petty

35. “Well I know what’s right. I got just one life in a world that keeps on pushin’ me around. But I’ll stand my ground.” — Tom Petty, I Won’t Back Down

36. “… If there’s one thing I know about music theory, it’s that if you don’t believe the singer, you won’t believe the song.” — Tom Petty (1980)

37. “Even the losers get lucky sometimes.” - Tom Petty, Even the Losers

38. “But listen honey, wherever you are tonight. I wish you the best of everything in the world. And I hope you found, whatever you were looking for.” — Tom Petty, Best of Everything

39. “If you can’t take the attitude that even losers get lucky, I don’t see how you can face life.” — Tom Petty (1980)

40. “I’m just trying to make good quality music, ’cause I do realize this music is going to be around much longer than me. I do know that now. If I’m gonna get it together to go make a record, I want it to be something that does feel timeless and honest.” — Tom Petty (2005)

. . .

Tell me:

Which of these quotes is your favorite?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to share the love of Tom Petty!

With love,


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