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Into the Great Wide Open: Five facts about Tom Petty

Rock legend Tom Petty died on Monday in California at the age of 66.
Rock legend Tom Petty died on Monday in California at the age of 66.

Tom Petty joined an even-growing list of music legends jamming in the great beyond Monday evening.

Petty, 66, died at hospital after suffering cardiac arrest at his home in California earlier in the, according to a statement released by Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, on behalf of the family.

Here are five facts you may or may not know about the “Refugee” hitmaker:

1. Petty met Elvis Presley in 1961 while he was shooting a film in Florida, an event that would change his life. He got his first guitar not long after.

2. Petty quit school at 17 and joined his first band, Mudcrutch, in the late 1960s. To many people's surprise, Petty reformed the group in 2007.

3. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first number one album did not come until 2014 with the release of "Hypnotic Eye."

4.  Don Felder, later of the Eagles, was one of Petty’s first guitar teachers. Felder lived in Gainesville, Florida, where Petty was also from.

5. Petty had a number of acting credits over the years, appearing in several films and television shows, starting with a cameo in the movie “FM in 1978. In 1997, he had a role in Kevin Costner’s “The Postman.” He also appeared on an episode of The Simpsons.

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