Tom Petty opens up on abuse
Billboard exclusively released excerpts from Tom Petty’s must read biography detailing the singer’s struggle with heroin abuse, being abused by his father, and heartbreak.
On his father abusing him as a child:
“…when my father got home later, he came in, took a belt and beat the living shit out of me. He beat me so bad that I was covered in raised welts, from my head to my toes. I mean, you can’t imagine someone hitting a child like that. Five years old. I remember it so well. My mother and my grandmother laid me in my bed, stripped me, and they took cotton and alcohol, cleaning these big welts all over my body.”
On his heroin addiction:
“Using heroin went against my grain. I didn’t want to be enslaved to anything. So I was always trying to figure out how to do less, and then that wouldn’t work. Tried to go cold turkey, and that wouldn’t work. It’s an ugly f—ing thing. Really ugly. I fear that if I talk about it, people will think, ‘Well, I could do it and get off.’ But you can’t. Very few people do.”