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Tom Petty found the magic formula

Tom Petty performs during the halftime show of

Tom Petty performs during the halftime show of Superbowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale Arizona on the evening of February 3, 2008. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Greatness is not about fame. It’s about being real. It’s about being an influencer. It’s about finding joy for yourself, and others get to share it with you [“A rocker from the heartland,” News, Oct. 3].

Tom Petty had a rip-roaring sound along with an uncanny ability to write hooks and lyrics that played on in your head long after you heard them. This is the magic formula that made you sing along to a Tom Petty song while you turned up the volume a notch — or maybe three more notches.

Nothing fancy here, just the sound of pure rock and roll taking you home and taking you on a journey at the same time. He was a purist, through and through, for decades. His music brought him to stadium tours and shoulder to shoulder with the most illustrious rock stars on the planet.

His greatest appeal was the grounded connection he made with us fans. A heartfelt farewell to an everyman legend.

Steven Taub, Melville