Don Felder’s Epiphany About Tom Petty’s Music Career

The Eagles’ Don Felder is one of the biggest names in the guitar world and was a mentor for others that came after him in rock music. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Tom Petty was one of his students that reached fame with his talents and unfortunately passed away at the age of 66 in October 2017. His passing was a struggle, so Felder reminisced him and their memories through various interviews.

When Petty was still making his way to the music industry, he turned to Felder to teach him how to play the guitar. The musician worked with Felder as his student to grasp the instrument and get everything he could from his mentor. Felder viewed him as his little brother and student, so he was delighted to have worked with him. Moreover, he knew the young musician would be a star someday which he had stated in his tribute after Petty’s death.

How Did Don Felder Foresee Tom Petty’s Success?

After Petty passed away in 2017, Don Felder remembered seeing him in his earlier years on stage when Petty was still playing bass but wanted to be a lead guitarist. While he was on stage, Felder realized girls in the audience talked about him, especially his talents and charisma. His looks made Felder think that his career would take off even in the early days of being a musician.

He stated that Petty’s presence was so powerful that he could sell that to the audience, contributing to his career and eventually making him a star. While many people have the talent, Petty had the commitment and the spark to transfer the feeling to the audience, which made him a rare figure in the music industry, according to Felder.

Here’s how Felder knew Petty had the qualities of a star:

“Tommy was very charismatic on stage. I remember standing at one Tom Petty show, and there were three young girls standing right next to me, and they were going, ‘Oh my God, he’s so great!’ and Tommy was flipping his long blonde hair and shaking his hair. He had a great stage presence and a commitment that he could sell on his presence which was great, and a lot of people might have the talent, they just don’t have the commitment and charisma to get it across, and Tom has it in spades.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had just finished their 40th Anniversary Tour when Petty sadly passed away from an accidental overdose. He had been using medication for his health problems, and when that mixture of drugs combined with opioids, he suffered from cardiac arrest.