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Tom Petty would’ve turned 69 today (October 20).

In the pantheon of American rock stars, Petty set himself apart by somehow writing songs that were straight-forward, almost minimalist and subtle, but at the same time were incredibly profound.

Whether you were a rebel without a clue or working on a mystery and goin’ wherever it leads, many of us can recall a moment listening to a song (or two…or ten) Petty wrote and thinking, “Now, he gets it.”

Or, if you were like me and were raised on promises, you thought, “Now, he gets me.”

Those connections to fans and those feelings are probably why Petty and the Heartbreakers’ performance at the Super Bowl XLII Halftime Show resonates the way it does. You had an American band delivering American songs during the most uniquely American event of the year.

And it’s absolute perfection.

In Remembrance of Tom Petty: Super Bowl XLII Halftime Show - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

In honor of rock icon Tom Petty's passing we look back at his Super Bowl 42 Halftime Show in 2008. RIP Tom Petty. 0:15 - American Girl 3:29 - I Won't Back Down 5:54 - Free Fallin' 9:19 - Runnin' Down a Dream

‘Full Moon Fever’: Every Song Ranked

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.