Locals Mourn Tom Petty's Death

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY)- The Northeast Wisconsin music scene is mourning the sudden death of Tom Petty. The rocker died after suffering a heart attack in Los Angeles.

Appleton singer-songwriter Christopher Gold has been rocked by the sudden death of Tom Petty. He says, "I cried and cried and then my wife cried and then we told our eight year old and he cried. It was unexpected."

While Gold didn't personally know petty, he studied the rocker who he believes influenced musicians across all genres.

According to Gold, "He was so all encompassing. You would meet people from every sort of corner of the music scene that we all agreed on Tom Petty. The country guys and the folk guys and the punk guys and the metal guys, but we were all like, yeah Tom Petty he was the last thing that I think everybody in the whole country kind of agreed on."

For more than 50 years gold says Petty inspired artists like himself, beating to the tune of his own drum.

"He taught everybody about simplicity and about sort of the feeling being the most important thing. You didn't have to be the best guitar player, you didn't have to be the best singer, you didn't have to be the best anything except communicator of a feeling," says Gold.

And while he's a bit down today after the rocker's death, as he picks up his guitar and plays a petty tune, gold feels more connected to the legend than ever before.

Gold adds, "You realize that you're sad because you felt a connection with somebody and then you realize that that connection was what he was going for and then you try to feel happy that he was successful and that he got to live exactly the life that he wanted to."